Stranger snapped photos of children

Natasha Beddow and Mark Johnston.
Natasha Beddow and Mark Johnston.

A WORRIED mum is warning parents to be on their guard after a stranger took a photo of her two young children in a supermarket.

Natasha Beddow was in Asda, Hartlepool, when a man took out his mobile phone and snapped her son, Matthew, two, and one-year-old daughter Olivia, who were sitting in the trolley.

The incident happened while Natasha’s back was briefly turned when she was at the cigarette counter near the entrance of the store in Marina Way.

Natasha, 28, said: “I turned round and the man said ‘sorry for upsetting the kids’, but they weren’t upset.

“Then he said ‘I was going to take a picture of them’ but I later found out from the CCTV that he did take a picture.

“I would like to warn other parents about this man.

“It has been horrible, the thought of somebody having pictures of your bairns.”

Worried Natasha, a full-time mum of five, approached security staff in store who studied the CCTV. Footage revealed that the man went over to her trolley, waved at her children and took a picture on his mobile phone before he put it away.

Natasha reported the incident to police who are investigating the incident.

They say the man is not known to them.

He is described as in his 40s or 50s with grey hair. He was wearing white trainers with black tracksuit bottoms and a matching black and red tracksuit top.

Natasha is engaged to floor layer Mark Johnston, 39. The couple live at Bishop Cuthbert, in Hartlepool, with Natasha’s three sons from a previous relationship.

A Cleveland Police spokesman said: “We are investigating and would ask for anyone with information about the man to contact us.”

Anyone with information can contact Hartlepool Police on (01642) 302178 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.