Tragedy of dead Yorkshire baby hidden in wardrobe

A young mother hid her baby girl's body for four months after a secret pregnancy.

A court heard that Amanda Hunt, 23, was in denial about her pregnancy after a casual relationship. She gave birth in her bedroom in Wakefield in the early hours last New Year's Eve.

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She wept as Wakefield magistrates heard that she later told police the baby was stillborn. She panicked and wrapped the body in a towel and put it in a box under her bed.

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Hunt later placed the body in a bin liner and put it in a wheelie bin, removing the dead child and placing it in her wardrobe every two weeks, just before bin collections were due.

Prosecutor, Diane Gomersal said Hunt's mother eventually made the grim discovery in her daughter's wardrobe after noticing a "terrible" and overpowering smell coming from a bag her daughter had received last Christmas.

Hunt, of Wharncliffe Road, Kettlethorpe, Wakefield, told her mother the

smell was from wet boots. But her mother took the bag outside, opened it and saw a baby's foot.

Hunt, who sat in court with her hands clasped tightly together, wiped away tears as after she admitted a charge of concealment of the birth of a child.

District Judge Marie Mallon handed her a four month prison sentence, suspended for two years with supervision.

Mrs Mallon told Miss Hunt: "I don't think it would serve any useful purpose to impose a prison sentence with immediate effect."

The court heard police were alerted just before 7pm on April 16 that a baby's body, wrapped in a towel and placed in a cardboard box, had been discovered in Miss Hunt's wardrobe.

Prosecutor Mrs Gomersal said Hunt told police she gave birth just after 2.30am on December 31 last year after becoming pregnant during a casual relationship with a man she knew only as Lee.

Mrs Gomersal said: She knew she was pregnant but felt unable to tell anyone about it. She didn't seek any medical help at any stage of the pregnancy and gave birth in her bedroom. She told officers she thought the baby was dead as it was not moving or crying and she placed it in a cardboard box underneath her bed.

"She told officers she moved the dead baby wrapped in a bin liner to an area behind the garden shed and later to a wheeled bin. To prevent it being discovered, every fortnight she moved the dead baby back indoors to her bedroom to prevent it being removed by refuse collectors from the wheeled bin.

Hunt's solicitor, Caroline Deacon, said her client was in denial about being pregnant, had panicked and is now remorseful. "This whole episode has been extremely traumatic, not only for her but her whole family. It was her mother who found the baby. It's caused great upset."

Mrs Deacon added: "She will never be in this situation again and will maybe have a family in the future with the support of her parents."