Mom charged after trying to kill baby

2014-11-24 18:52
(File)

(File) (Shutterstock)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Sydney - A 30-year-old Sydney mother has been charged with trying to kill her newborn son by abandoning him in a roadside drain for five days before passers-by heard his cries, police said on Monday.

The week-old baby was in serious but stable condition in Westmead Children's Hospital a day after cyclists found him in a 2.5m deep drain beside the M7 Motorway in the suburb of Quakers Hill, police said in a statement.

He was malnourished and dehydrated but had no apparent physical injury, police have said.

His mother, Saifale Nai, did not appear in court to answer the attempted murder charge. Her lawyer did not enter a plea and the magistrate formally refused her bail.

Nai will remain in custody until her next court appearance on Friday. She would face a potential maximum sentence of 25 years in prison if convicted.

"Police will allege the baby, believed to have been born on Monday (17 November), was placed into the drain on Tuesday," the police statement said.

Andrew Pesce, a gynecologist, obstetrician and former president of the Australian Medical Association, said such an ordeal could leave a newborn with long-term problems such as brain damage.

"There would still have to be some concerns about the baby," Pesce said.

"I would have thought that it wouldn't have been able to survive for much longer if it didn't start getting fed," he added.

He said healthy newborns have reserves to cope with relative malnutrition and often lose 10% of their birth weight because their mothers can take a few days before producing sufficient milk.

Helen Polley, a senator in the opposition Labor Party, said the near-tragedy could have been avoided if emergency hatches were rolled out at Australian hospitals, police and fire stations where babies could be safely abandoned.

She called for the repeal of laws that make child abandonment a criminal offense, which she said encourage the problem to be hidden.

Cyclists riding along a bicycle lane beside the motorway heard the baby on Sunday morning.

"We actually thought it was a kitten at first, but when we went down there we could hear exactly what it was - you could definitely tell it was a baby screaming," cyclist David Otte told The Daily Telegraph newspaper.

It took six men, including three police officers, to lift the 200kg concrete lid that covered the drain, the newspaper said.

Police suspect the baby was squeezed through the drain's narrow opening and dropped to the bottom.

The baby was found wrapped in a hospital blanket, and police used hospital records to find the mother.

The baby would likely be taken into state care when he was discharged from the hospital, officials said.

Read more on:    australia

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
7 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.