County Durham woman sentenced for abandoning newborn baby


A County Durham woman who abandoned her newborn child at the front door of a block of flats was sentenced today at Peterlee Magistrates' Court.

Leigh Anne Varley, 36, of Horden, was given a 14 week sentence suspended for 12 months after pleading guilty at an earlier hearing to having wilfully ill-treated, neglected, abandoned or exposed a child in a manner to cause unnecessary suffering or injury to health.

The charge was brought after Mrs Varley was traced by a police, after the discovery of the baby in May of this year. She had abandoned the child after becoming pregnant unbeknownst to her husband, because she feared what his reaction may be.  

A CPS spokesperson said: "Mrs Varley took the desperate step of abandoning her child in the hours after it was born that was motivated primarily by fear of a violent reprisal from her own husband, who was wholly unaware of the pregnancy."