Backpacker in baby case allowed home from Australia
Published 14/08/2014 | 02:30
A young backpacker charged with concealing the birth of a baby in the Australian Outback has been allowed to return to Ireland amid "serious concerns" for her welfare.
A judge at the Perth Magistrate's Court yesterday agreed to defence lawyer Karen Farley's request that the unnamed woman be allowed to come home as she awaits her next court appearance on October 2.
She was charged under a rarely-used Australian law in which it is a criminal offence not to register the birth of a baby, whether or not the baby survived. The offence carries a maximum two-year prison sentence.
The woman (25), who was reportedly travelling Down Under with other Irish backpackers, is alleged to have concealed the birth of a baby who was either stillborn or died shortly after being born, and hid the body in her accommodation during a stopover in Hall's Creek in the Western Australian outback in May.
Days later friends quizzed her when she appeared unwell and she allegedly told them that she had given birth despite not realising she was pregnant.
The court heard that the woman needs the support of her family at home after her condition worsened since she was charged with the offence. Her mother had flown to Perth to be with her daughter but her visa expires at the end of the month. The magistrate agreed to drop the bail condition that she surrender her passport.
Marie Murray: Page 29