Girl, 6, and boy, 5, escaped home on the bus to Liverpool

Two small children escaped their home, jumped on a bus and managed to get to Liverpool city centre oblivious to a frantic search involving a police helicopter.

The brother and sister managed to sneak away from the family home in the Clubmoor area on Monday afternoon and made it all the way to St John's Shopping Centre.

Mum-of-three Katie Sweeney, from Wavertree, found the children while out shopping with a friend.

She noticed the little girl, aged six, and her brother, five, outside a doughnut and ice-cream stand.

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She said: "The little boy was shouting 'we want ice, my sister want ice'. I was on my way to get some doughnuts and the man said 'where are your parents? Go and get some money from your mum and come back'.

"I said I will get the ice creams and asked where their mum was but they ran off and went into a shop.

Ms Sweeney says the children ran away again but she eventually managed to get them into Marks & Spencer's in Queen's Square where security staff called the police.

A spokesman for Merseyside Police confirmed the children were reported missing from the Clubmoor area at 3.50pm and a search involving a helicopter commenced.

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He said they were collected from the city centre around 5pm after Ms Sweeney got in touch.

Ms Sweeney said: "I had to bribe them into the backroom with doughnuts. They seemed quite scared, they said they had wanted to go to dinosaur island, but I think they knew they would be in trouble.

"They said they had got the number seven bus."

Ms Sweeney said she posted about the incident on a Facebook group which was seen by residents in the street where the children lived.

She said: "People were telling me they were from round their's and that the mum was frantic in the street sobbing.

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"I just don't know how they were able to get so far without anyone helping them.

"When the police officer came to get them he said 'I want to thank you for what you did today, it is fortunate it was you who got them'.

"I don't know how they were able to get a bus. Why did nobody stop them?"

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Ms Sweeney has since been in contact with the children's family.

A police spokesman said officers had no concerns about the children and they are now safely back at home.

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