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Woman Faces Baby-Taking Charge

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Christchurch, Dec 4 NZPA - A woman charged over an alleged baby-snatching incident at Christchurch's St George's Hospital has been remanded for a fortnight for a psychiatric report to be prepared.

The 20-year-old woman will be at Hillmorton Hospital while the report is completed under the Criminal Procedures (Mentally Impaired Persons) Act.

She is charged with taking a two-day-old boy with intent to deprive his mother of possession of the child.

In the meantime, Judge David Saunders has granted her interim name suppression and she was later recalled to court so that the names of the boy and his mother could also be suppressed.

"They should not be further stigmatised by this," said the judge, in granting the order.

Defence counsel Alexandra Beaumont spoke on the woman's behalf at today's appearance but said Elizabeth Bulger was likely to be assigned as counsel.

A Christchurch psychiatrist believed there was clinical justification to have the report prepared and sought the 14-day remand, Ms Beaumont said.

Identification was likely to be an issue in the case and she asked the judge for suppression of the unemployed woman's name and photographs which had already been taken.

The judge granted that order as well.

The woman had family support in court during her brief appearance. A man believed to be her husband mouthed, "I love you", as she was led back to the courthouse cells.

She is next due to appear in Christchurch District Court on December 18.

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