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Mom of 3 to appear in court today

Baby Josiah abandoned

By Joel Julien joel.julien@trinidadexpress.com

A MOTHER of three is expected to appear before a Tunapuna magistrate today, charged with abandoning her last child, a newborn baby boy, outside the front gate of the St Mary's Children's Home in Tacarigua the night before Christmas Eve.

The 32-year-old, from Arouca, was yesterday charged with wilful abandonment and exposing the child's life to danger.

She faces the possibility of five years in prison because of her actions.

The woman was charged under Section 21 of Chapter 11:08 of the Offences against the Person Act by WPC Dick of the Tunapuna Police Station.

Section 21 of Chapter 11:08 of the Offences against the Person Act states: "Any person who unlawfully abandons or exposes a child under the age of two years so that the life of the child is endangered or the health of the child is or is likely to be permanently injured is liable to imprisonment for five years."

The woman has been in police custody since Monday.

Around 10 p.m. on December 23, security officers of the St Mary's Children's Home discovered a newborn baby abandoned outside the orphanage's front gate.

The baby's umbilical cord was still attached.

The baby, who was wrapped in an old jersey, was believed to be two hours old at the time of the discovery.

The newborn was taken to the Wendy Fitzwilliam Paediatric Hospital in Mt Hope to undergo medical tests.

Initial reports stated the abandoned newborn was a baby girl.

In a telephone interview with the Express on December 27, North Central Regional Health Authority (NCRHA) chief executive officer Collin Bissessar stated the abandoned baby girl was named Mary Teresa by the nurses caring for her.

However, Mary Teresa, an abandoned baby at the hospital, is not the baby who was abandoned outside the St Mary's Children's Home.

The baby who was dumped outside the orphanage is in fact a boy and has been named Josiah Doe by nurses.

The two abandoned babies are at the Wendy Fitzwilliam Paediatric Hospital.

The Express was unable to ascertain the circumstances surrounding Mary Teresa's abandonment.

The name Josiah is of Hebrew origin and means "Jehovah helps".

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