Wednesday 26 November 2014

Irish backpacker charged with concealing death of baby

woman facing up to two years in jail for concealing death of her baby in Australia

Published 08/08/2014 | 07:53

Irish woman facing up to two years in jail for concealing death of her baby in Australia
Irish woman facing up to two years in jail for concealing death of her baby in Australia

An Irish backpacker has been charged with hiding the body of her newborn while travelling in a remote part of Western Australia.

The 25-year-old is facing up to two years in jail after being brought before a court for allegedly "concealing the birth of a child that died before or after birth", WA police said.

The law requires all births to be reported, even if the baby has died of natural causes.

The woman had been travelling through the Kimberley region with friends and had not realised she had fallen pregnant, police reportedly said.

She gave birth one night in May, while at home alone in the town of Halls Creek.

The case only recently came to light after the woman appeared in court Kununurra at the end of last month.

It will be alleged that she hid the newborn and did not tell her friends what had happened for several days.

When they found out, she was taken to hospital, where staff notified police.

WA's Major Crime Squad was called in to investigate the infant's death and charged the backpacker with concealing the birth.

The charge carries a maximum penalty of two years in jail.

It is understood the woman has had to remain in Perth while the court case proceeds.

The case had been referred to Perth and she is due back in court later this year.

WA Criminal Lawyers Association president Linda Black said it was an unusual case.

"It's a charge that seems to be fairly rarely used," she said.

"I can't recall the last time I heard of anyone being charged with this."

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