Accused baby thief remanded in police custody

Observer writer

Thursday, January 17, 2019

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MONTEGO BAY, St James — The 26-year-old woman accused of stealing a baby in the parking lot at the Cornwall Regional Hospital in St James more than a week ago has been remanded into custody until next week Tuesday.

The January 22 mention date was set when the accused, Melissa Harriot, of Norwood, St James, who was formally charged with child stealing made an appearance in the St James Parish Court yesterday.

The date was given by presiding judge Sandra Wong Small to allow for legal aid representation to be settled for the defendant who told the judge that she was unable to afford a lawyer.

Judge Wong Small, in remanding Harriot, ordered that her fingerprints be taken by the police.

“Ma'am, you will be brought back to court on Tuesday of next week. We are making an order for an attorney to be assigned to you by legal aid. So, you are going to be brought to court on the 22nd of January, 2019. You are remanded into custody,” the judge told Harriot.

Harriot and her male friend were 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 Close Circuit Television (CCTV) images from the hospital of Harriot.

It was not clear yesterday if any charges were laid against Harriot's male friend.

Police reported that on January 4 the baby's mother had asked Harriot, who allegedly befriended her, to hold the baby 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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