Beverley couple smuggled baby out of hospital after custody ban
A COUPLE smuggled their baby out of hospital in a bag just hours after being banned from having custody of it.
The pair carried the four-day-old child out of Hull and East Yorkshire Women and Children's Hospital to a waiting car.
The teenage mum's brother then drove them away, sparking a huge police search for the missing baby.
They were tracked down hours later in Malton, North Yorkshire, and have now been jailed.
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The mum was led from Hull Magistrates' Court in tears after claiming she was acting out of "pure natural instinct" to try to keep her child.
East Riding Council social workers had been granted an interim care order at Beverley Magistrates' Court to take the baby into care.
The couple, who are from Beverley, were given a chance to say goodbye and took the baby when staff were not looking.
The mother's solicitor Vicky Kirk said: "This is not a case where any force was used to take the child or there was any violent or sexual motive for taking the child.
"There was no sophistication, pre-planning or pre-organisation.
"She had a misconceived hope that she would not be subjected to the order.
"The order was made and thereafter they took the decision and there couldn't have been any real planning. It was a split-second decision made to take this child.
"The child was missing just hours, not months or years.
"She takes full responsibility. The child was four days old and she was breastfeeding and caring for the child in hospital.
"When she heard the news (about the care order) it came as nothing but a shock to her. She was being treated herself in hospital at the time and was clearly acting out of pure natural instinct.
"Clearly, she now accepts it was the wrong decision to take the child from the hospital. She feels like she has lost everything."
It is the second child the young mum, who has previous criminal convictions, has had taken into care.
The Mail is unable to name the couple or the mum's brother because of a court order.
The mum, her partner, 21, and her relative, 28, pleaded guilty to knowingly taking a child without authority. They have each been jailed for 84 days.
The brother's solicitor Laurence Watts told the court: "His devotion to his family is at the heart of this offence.
"He was not aware there was an untoward purpose of him going to the hospital.
"The first he knew of the abduction was when the child began to make noises in the back of the car in Clive Sullivan Way.
"He was sympathetic that a member of his family was having difficulties and he made the wrong decision."
District Judge Fred Rutherford told the three of them: "A decision was taken by you that the child would be taken. A report was made as quickly as possible and a major incident was launched by the police.
"This occurred very soon after the decision was made to make an interim care order in respect of the child.
"That order wouldn't have been made lightly and clearly was for the welfare of the child but you decided to act against that order of the court and consequently acted against an order for the welfare of the child.
"You took it upon yourself to act in a manner to remove the child from a hospital that triggered a major police investigation.
"These are most serious actions and custody is appropriate."
The mother has since attended a child nutritional course, a parenting course and a first aid course in a bid to get her child back.
A spokesman for Hull And East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs Hull and East Yorkshire Women and Children's Hospital, said: "The trust is investigating this incident and we are therefore unable to comment further.
"However, we can reassure families we do have appropriate security measures in place in the women and children's hospital."
A spokesman for East Riding Council said: "Appropriate investigations are taking place within the hospital."