Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Our World

(AP) Police said Tuesday they have arrested a woman in the abduction of an unborn baby who was cut from its mother's womb while she was unconscious.

Sol Angela Cartagena said she was with her 2-year-old daughter when she had a drink at a hospital cafeteria in Girardot, southwest of Bogota, and suddenly felt lightheaded.

"When I woke up I was in the countryside with my 2-year-old daughter beside me," the woman told RCN TV, adding that someone had performed a Caesarean section on her and taken her baby. . .

Police officer Gustavo Silva said the woman who allegedly stole the baby was found due to tips and that prosecutors are now handling the case. People who had seen the unidentified woman with a baby wrapped in a sheet called authorities because they knew she had not been pregnant and they did not know where the baby had come from.

The baby was dehydrated but otherwise reported in good condition.


A DOCTOR who treated twin babies rescued from a life of "utter squalor" said they were "the worse case of malnutrition he had ever seen outside the developing world", a court heard yesterday.

A judge was told how police officers who brought five children out of the terraced house in Sheffield in June had difficulty not being physically sick in the excrement-smeared bedrooms and kitchen.

Sheffield Crown Court heard that one of the 12-month-old twin boys was critically ill and close to death. The other was also seriously ill, but officers were astonished to find a neatly-kept lounge with state-of-the art electrical appliances - a room "equipped for adult leisure".

Mr Hatton said both twins weighed just over four kilograms (8.8lbs), less than when they were nine months old and 40 per cent of the weight expected for a one-year-old. The most seriously ill twin was passing live maggots into his nappy, which experts said had come either from ingesting fly-ridden food or from an infestation in the heavily-soiled nappies he was found in.

The other children in the house - now aged eight, four and three - were also in terrible conditions with excrement smeared on the bedroom floors, walls and windows and the children sleeping on urine soaked mattresses.

Sentencing the pair, the Recorder of Sheffield, Alan Goldsack, said: "Behind the closed doors of your home your children were being slowly starved to death.

Neither of you is of low intelligence. Neither of you suffered from a mental illness.

Most people will simply be unable to understand how anyone can allow children to suffer in the way you did."


Two North Canterbury women who left a six-year-old girl in a car while they gambled and drank in the Christchurch Casino have avoided a jail term.

The girl had been left asleep in the casino carpark shortly before midnight on October 2 by her mother and another woman, Marama Jan Edwards, 42, but woke up shortly before 2am and became extremely distressed.

Christchurch District Court Judge Stephen Erber said the community viewed the issue of child neglect seriously, as shown by the maximum penalty of six months jail.

However, he said he was able to step back from jail after hearing that the mother had no previous convictions and was an otherwise loving and competent parent who had fallen under the influence of Edwards, an alcoholic gambling addict.


A 13-year old Virginia Beach boy is being held at the Virginia Beach Detention Center after police say he abducted an exotic dancer last Tuesday night.

According to officials, the dancer showed up at a pre-arranged appointment at a residence - subsequently discovered to be vacant - in the 700 block of South Rosemont Road around 6:30pm.

The woman noticed the client was a juvenile, but was told that the contract was for his older brother. Police say the woman waited for a while, but no one else showed up.

Authorities say when the woman eventually tried to leave the residence, she was stopped by the juvenile who pointed a shotgun at her and ordered her to dance.


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