Woman spared jail after abandoning newborn she delivered in disabled toilet

A woman who gave birth in an amusement arcade toilet before abandoning the newborn girl has been spared an immediate prison sentence.

Nicola Glover, 30, admitted child cruelty after delivering the baby girl in a disabled toilet at Silcock's arcade in Southport on April 16.

She was handed an eight-month prison sentence suspended for 18 months, having spent two months on remand.

Liverpool Crown Court heard that Glover had known she was pregnant but had kept it a secret from her family.

Judge Alan Conrad QC said that it had been a "sad" and "highly unusual case" and accepted that Glover had been unwell at the time, suffering with mental health issues.

Emergency services were called after staff found the baby abandoned inside the disabled toilets.

The girl was later named April by carers at Ormskirk and District General Hospital as a widespread appeal was made to find Glover, of, Prescot, Merseyside, who was found the next day.

She had previously denied a charge of attempted murder which was accepted by the Crown.

Baby April was ordered into the care of Sefton council. She was discharged from hospital and is said to be doing well.

Her survival has been described as "miraculous" and the staff were commended by the judge for their efforts.

Defending, Charlotte Atherton said that there had been a lack of premeditation and that Glover's mental health had been a significant mitigating factor.

She said Glover had become "overwhelmed by shock and panic" following the birth.

She said: "This is a sad and unusual case.

"Sad not least because a young family has been torn apart and of all of the consequences that have followed and may follow from the defendant's actions on April 16 this year. That separation for her is by far the greatest punishment."

She added: "It must be accepted that this was a single incident of long-term abandonment and the defendant walked away from the child."

She added it had been a "short lived lapse".

Miss Atherton said that it had been her client's belief that the child would be found relatively quickly and it had not been her intention to cause her daughter any harm.

She added that her client was a woman of good character who had concealed her pregnancy from her family and had not seen any an anti-natal specialist.

Miss Atherton added: "However events overtook her when unprepared she spontaneously gave birth alone very quickly."

Passing sentence, Judge Conrad said: "I must accept that you did not intend to kill your baby but I equally must bear in mind that by abandoning your baby you subjected her to the gravest risk.

"It was only due to the good fortune and quick thinking of those who found and revived her that she survived her ordeal.

"What you did went entirely against her."

Judge Conrad added: "It's clear, I find, that you were unwell at the time you committed the offence.

"It's a highly unusual case and I accept a sad case.

"I accept you are remorseful for what you did."

Glover was also made subject to a rehabilitation activity requirement.

Deputy chief Crown prosecutor for Mersey-Cheshire Crown Prosecution Service, Alison Mutch, said that Glover would "no doubt regret the actions of that day for many years to come".

She added: "This is a very sad case but, thankfully, the baby survived and is thriving.

"The welfare of the child has been paramount to all involved in this case and she is now being cared for by foster carers.

"It has been important to strike a balance between prosecuting Ms Glover but also showing compassion and we feel that very difficult balance has been struck."