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Mother of abandoned child in court

Friday May 24, 2019 Written by Published in Crime

A foreign worker who recently admitted to abandoning a child under the age of six in Matavera has been ordered to come up for sentencing if called upon the High Court within a year.

 

Judge Potter in reading the facts of the matter on Wednesday said that at about 2.30am on November 17 last year, the defendant felt severe pain to her stomach which continued until 6am when she fell asleep.

She said at around 8.30am she was alone at home and she again felt severe pains in her stomach and subsequently gave birth to a child.

Judge Potter said, the defendant then took the baby placed it at a nearby bush.

She said the defendant returned home and waited. She said that morning the defendant made attempts to contact her employer but was unsuccessful.

Judge Potter said the baby was discovered by members of the public, after a baby was heard crying.

She said authorities were alerted and police arrived on the scene, took the baby to hospital for examination. The defendant was taken to hospital later.

Judge Potter said on December 3, the defendant was interviewed by the police where she explained her actions on the basis that she was scared as she previously resided in a different jurisdiction whereby if found in such a situation, she would have faced serious negative repercussions.

Defence counsel Wilkie Rasmussen said the defendant was a first time offender who previously worked in Saudi Arabia, a country whose jurisdiction was different to the Cook Islands, therefore there was an element of fear within her.

He said the defendant’s actions were not premeditated and not intentional.

Crown Law’s Kathy Bell said the baby was lucky to be alive and is officially under the care of the secretary of Internal Affairs (INTAFF) and the care of the defendant’s employer.

She said the defendant is residing with the employer and is bonding with the child.

Bell said INTAFF was happy with this and because of the supervision by the ministry, the Crown submitted that the defendant be sentenced if called upon by the court and to place a good behaviour bond on the defendant.

Judge Potter said the defendant had been assessed and has not been found to be suffering from any mental illness.

She said it was fortunate the baby is alive today and the mitigating factor is her early plea. She said the Crown’s recommendation for sentencing was lenient but a realistic one.

Judge Potter convicted the defendant and ordered her for sentencing within a year under the conditions that the Solicitor General may call upon the defendant to come up for sentence.

Name suppression for the child and the woman was granted by Judge Potter until further order of the court.