News

Accused baby thief had miscarriage; ordered to get counselling

BY ANTHONY LEWIS
Observer writer

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

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MONTEGO BAY, St James — The 26-year-old woman accused of stealing a baby in the parking lot at Cornwall Regional Hospital in St James has been urged to get counselling after it was disclosed in court that she had a miscarriage.

The advice was given by Judge Kaysha Grant when the accused, Melissa Harriot of Norwood in St James, appeared yesterday in the St James Parish Court. She is facing a charge of child stealing.

The court heard that Harriot, formerly of St Ann, who lives with her common-law husband in St James, had no previous conviction.

She was granted bail in the sum of $350,000 with one or two sureties following a bail application made by her attorney, Martyn Thomas.

“... You are to report to the Discovery Bay Police Station on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays between the hours of 7:00 am and 7:00 pm; stop order imposed,” Judge Grant told Harriot.

“Ma'am, if you interfere with witnesses, the baby, or any such thing that does not belong to you, ma'am, you will be arrested. It will be in breach of your bail. And ma'am, don't be afraid of counselling for yourself. I understand that you had a miscarriage. Get some counselling,” the judge told her.

A February 25 date was then given by Judge Grant for Harriot to return to court.

The 26-year-old was arrested by the police in Norwood following the recovery of the baby on January 6, after residents reportedly contacted the police and gave information that led to premises in the community where she lived, following the release of closed-circuit television images from the hospital.

The police had reported that on January 4 the baby's mother had asked Harriot to hold the child while she went to the restroom. However, when the mother returned, both her baby and the accused were nowhere to be found.


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