A MAN accused of attempting to abduct a two-year-old boy at a Newcastle West shopping centre on Sunday will remain behind bars while awaiting a mental health assessment.
Graham Douglas Jones, 46, of Fletcher, is accused of approaching a man and his son inside the shopping centre about 5.10pm before hugging the toddler and trying to drag him away from his father. Mr Jones appeared in Newcastle Local Court on Monday charged with take or detain a child with intent to remove from parental control and two counts of common assault.
He did not enter any pleas and was refused bail. The matter was adjourned until Tuesday for Mr Jones to undergo a mental health assessment.
Police say they were called to the shopping centre in Steel Street on Sunday after reports a child had been approached by a stranger.
Police were told a man approached a father and his two-year-old son inside the shopping centre and allegedly asked if he could talk to the child, before he started to hug the child and pull him away from his father.
The father, 46, pulled the child away from the man, before the man allegedly became aggressive and continued to grab the child.
With help from other shoppers, the child was returned to his father and the man was held until police arrived.
The man and his son were not physically injured during the incident.