City woman in baby case walks free

A Norwich woman arrested after a newly born baby's body was found in a remote pub in Cumbria has walked free from court.

A Norwich woman arrested after a newly born baby's body was found in a remote pub in Cumbria has walked free from court.

Twenty eight year old Angeli Whitehead admitted concealing the birth of her daughter Ann-Louisa after the prosecution offered no evidence on a murder charge, and the alternatives of manslaughter and infanticide.

She was given a two year community order with conditions that she lives at approved probation service premises for six months, and receives supervision and guidance.

High Court Judge Mr Justice Openshaw, sitting at Preston, said she was to be pitied rather than condemned. He described Whitehead as acutely vulnerable, impressionable and easily manipulated.

Medical experts disagreed over whether the baby's death was accidental or deliberate., and an open verdict was recorded at the inquest.

The body was found by the landlady in a pedal bin in the toilets at the Woolpack Inn at Boot Eskdale in West Cumbria.

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Whitehead of Silver Road, Norwich, was in a relationship with barman Darren Gill after they met through an internet date line.

Prosecuting counsel Bob Elias described the case as tragic and bizarre. Whitehead had claimed she did not know she was pregnant.

He said she told Mr Gill she was an accountant for Norwich City FC and that she could get him a job.

In fact she was a match day catering assistant who was sacked for missing three games.

Mr Gill, from Barrow-in-Furness, had decided to make a new life and move to Norwich from Cumbria, and she went to the Woolpack while he worked out his notice.

He was also told she was an heiress who had been left £6million by her father as well as a London hotel, and a Mercedes.

Mr Gill thought it odd that she had no power at her rented home.

Mr Elias said licensee's wife Anne Wedgewood, a trained registered general nurse, opened the pedal bin, which had bloody fingerprints on it. The body was upside down in a foetal position. Attempts were made to resuscitate the baby before paramedics arrived.

Timothy Holroyd,QC defending, described the circumstances as utterly forlorn and wretched.

He said Whitehead had not appreciated the pregnancy, or closed her mind to it. She lacked personal support and was extremely immature and vulnerable, and had a tendency to live in a fantasy world.

Whitehead also admitted making false benefit claims. and stealing from her aunt by using her cash card to withdraw £5,000.

For those offences, she was sentenced to a two year rehabilitation order.