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Accused baby thief goes back to court Thursday

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

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PETA-GAY Ffrench, the woman who is accused of stealing a baby from Victoria Jubilee Hospital in January, is to return to the Supreme Court on Thursday for a plea and case management hearing.

Ffrench made her first appearance in the high court yesterday afternoon.

The 27-year-old, who is from Harkers Hall in St Catherine, was taken into custody on February 5 when she turned up at the Registrar General's Department in Twickenham Park, St Catherine, attempting to register a baby.

A subsequent DNA test confirmed on February 7 that the baby belonged to a couple whose child was snatched from the hospital.

She was charged with child stealing on February 11.

The baby was snatched from the hospital on January 8.

The mother of the baby, 41-year-old Suzzett Whyte, told the Jamaica Observer in January that about 5:00 am she was awakened after having a heavy flow of lochia. She said by this time the lights on the hospital's ward had been turned on while most of the exhausted mothers slept.

Not wanting to wake the mother who was in the bed next to her, she said she trusted a woman clad in a denim skirt and a multi-coloured top who was standing and looking through the window and who offered to watch her baby while she went to the restroom. Whyte said she thought the woman was one of the mothers when she told her that she would have someone clean the area that was messed up.

“I left the soap and when mi come back [for it] I saw her standing up there, but me still nah look say something like that ago happen,” Whyte said then, adding that when she returned from her shower only the baby's hat was left on the bed.

Hoping that the baby had been crying and that the nurse or a mother had taken him to try to comfort him, she said she started making checks, but the baby could not be found.

She said she alerted a nurse, who referred her to another nurse, after which the police were summoned.

— Racquel Porter


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