Kmart kidnapper who lured a seven-year-old girl away from a toy aisle to be sentenced

The case that rattled the nation.

Editor / October 07 2019

Earlier: Partner of man who allegedly abducted girl from Kmart breaks her silence

The wife of a man charged with abducting and sexually assaulting a seven-year-old girl from a Kmart store has spoken out about the horrific incident.

Sterling Marvyn Free, 26, took the little girl from Westfield North Lakes shopping centre in Brisbane, where she had been Christmas shopping with her mum.

The father of twins allegedly drove her to nearby bushland, sexually assaulted her then returned her back to the shops.

Free’s long-term partner and mother of his children, Angie Hodgson, says she was shocked by the alleged attack.

“It’s been tough on me and my family,” she said. “We've had media at our door and I don't know what else to say.”

After the abduction, the girl was taken for medical treatment. She has not been able to tell detectives what happened during the time she was gone, the Daily Mail reports.

Staff at the Kmart store spoke about the mother’s distress upon realizing her daughter was missing.

“It happened in one of the toy aisles just here where there were heaps of kids,” said one staff member. “You could hear the mother yelling out for her daughter… you never imagine something like this will happen.”

Free was arrested after being captured on CCTV footage taking the girl from the centre and bringing her back.

Daily Mail Australia also revealed that Free was known to child protection services in Queensland and has previously been investigated by police for alleged attacks involving children.

He will remain in custody and has been refused bail.

Michelle Connolly has worked as a photo director, social media manager and photo editor at some of Australia's biggest media companies, including New Idea. She is now editor of Practical Parenting and loving mum-of-two.