Portsmouth newborn baby death: Woman given absolute discharge

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image captionThe newborn baby girl was found in the street on 25 January

A 21-year-old woman, who admitted concealing the birth of a child after a newborn girl was found dead in Portsmouth, will face no further action.

The baby was discovered in Old Commercial Road on 25 January 2020.

Lisa Blagden, of Eastern Road in the city, was given an absolute discharge by Portsmouth Magistrates' Court.

The court heard she was "frightened and vulnerable" and hid the baby's body in a hedge so she could see her every day.

Police previously said the baby was born at 39 weeks, but a post-mortem examination was inconclusive.

Rhys Evans, prosecuting, described how Ms Blagden had been unaware that she was pregnant when she gave birth in her bathroom to the baby called Ivory Rose.

She then passed out from the loss of blood and woke up to find she had fallen on the baby who had stopped breathing and died.

Mr Evans told the court: "She placed her in a bush close to the address, in a position where she could see her from her window.

"She described how being able to see Ivory Rose from her window gave her some small comfort or peace of mind."

The body was disturbed by animals and was found in the street by a member of the public a month later.

Rebecca Strong, defending, said the father of the child, who was 30 years older than her, had "groomed" Ms Blagden and warned her not to reveal that their friendship had become sexual by telling her that her family would disown her.

"She was just a frightened, vulnerable girl, not feeling she could turn to anyone to help her. Her decision will haunt her," she said.

District Judge Roderick Hine described the father as "despicable" for attempting to "cover up and protect himself".

"I do not believe any punishment beyond what she has already suffered would be appropriate. She is blameless and so are her family."

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