26 Mar 2009

Samoan woman faces charges of abandoning and assaulting a newborn

12:03 pm on 26 March 2009

A Samoan woman appeared in court yesterday charged with abandoning and assaulting a newborn after she secretly gave birth on a flight from Samoa to Auckland, New Zealand.

Cleaners found the baby, named Grace, in the aircraft's toilet cubicle.

The 29 year old mother, who had been recovering in hospital until yesterday, was granted interim name suppression when she appeared in the Manukau District Court .

She was remanded in custody without plea.

Detective Inspector Mark Gutry says baby Grace is remarkably healthy given the ordeal.

"The baby well and has not suffered significant injuries or long term effects from this, and is currently in CYFS care."

Mark Gutry says the woman already has one other child.

The Immigration Department is carrying out a separate investigation into the matter.