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A paedophile who snatched girls from the streets and sexually abused them in the 1980s and 1990s has admitted kidnap and indecent assault.
David Bryant, 65, of Ulverston, Cumbria, pleaded guilty at Newcastle Crown Court to the historic offences which related to four terrifying, separate incidents in Hampshire and Tyneside.
He snatched a girl of five in broad daylight from near her Newcastle home in the mid-1990s. The child was found by a taxi driver three hours later wandering on the outskirts of Darlington.
A strikingly similar ordeal befell a four-year-old four months later when she was taken from near her home in the city's west end and was only found the next day after she knocked on a door in Darlington.
Bryant had already got away with abducting and indecently assaulting a five-year-old girl in Gosport in the early 1980s and a three-year-old girl in Southampton the following year.
He was remanded in custody after admitting four counts of kidnap and four counts of indecent assault. He will be sentenced in March.
A trial had been expected to take place next month.
Officers from Northumbria and Hampshire Police worked on the case and arrested Bryant last year following a DNA breakthrough.
After the hearing, Detective Chief Inspector Steve Binks said:
''Bryant has today pleaded guilty to offences which he committed in Hampshire in the 1980s and in the Northumbria area in the 1990s.
''I want to thank the families and victims for their support and strength through this traumatic and timely ordeal.
''The team has worked with the families involved in this case for many years to seek justice and today this man has pleaded guilty.
''I would also like to thank the hard work of all the officers from Northumbria Police and the other forces involved as well as the scientists at the Forensic Science Service who have worked tirelessly on this case.
''I hope it brings solace and reassurance to others that no unresolved case is closed.
''We do continue to investigate these cases and with advances in science and technology we are able to bring justice for the victims, even with historic cases such as this one.''