A mother who gave birth without knowing she was pregnant, then hid her dead baby in a hedge today went free after a judge said she was “innocent”.
The newborn girl was found wrapped in a Primark towel on a street in January last year – triggering a police investigation.
Lisa Blagden, 21, of Portsmouth, Hants, this afternoon pleaded guilty to hiding her baby’s death, but was given an absolute discharge because the judge said she “had already suffered enough punishment”.
Blagden did not know she was pregnant when she gave birth to Ivory Rose at her family’s home at age 20, having been ‘treated’ by an older man.
She passed out due to blood loss and when she woke up she was unable to revive the girl.
In a panic, she cut the umbilical cord with scissors, wrapped the child in a towel and hid it in a nearby bush.
After the baby was discovered, Blagden was arrested along with his mother and sister, but his mental health deteriorated.
The court heard the police interview the baby’s father, an unidentified 50-year-old man, who “had no interest in the baby’s birth or death” and which the judge described as “despicable”.
Rhys Evans, the prosecutor, told the Portsmouth Magistrates’ Court: “She didn’t know about the pregnancy.
“She was alone at home on December 27, 2019, when she felt what she believed at the time to be extreme menstrual pain.
“She prepared a bath to relieve the pain. She experienced the pain again and Ivory Rose was born in the bathroom.”
She believed she would be arrested and blamed for her death, so she cut the umbilical cord with bathroom scissors
Rhys Evans, suing
Mr. Evans described how the baby was alive and crying, so Blagden lifted her off the floor and passed out.
He added: “When she woke up, Ivory Rose was under her and was no longer breathing. She tried to revive the child without success.
“She believed she would be arrested and blamed for her death, so she cut the umbilical cord with bathroom scissors.
“She wrapped Ivory Rose in a yellow towel and a T-shirt, took her outside, put her in a bush near the address.”
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He said she chose the spot on a hedge because it was visible from her bedroom window.
Ivory Rose was found on the street about 50 meters from Blagden’s home after it was concluded that the animals had removed her from the hedge.
DNA samples matched Blagden with the baby and she was arrested along with her mother and sister.
Blagden had to be sectioned under the mental health law for nine days since May 20 last year, after she had a psychotic breakdown and hallucinations in which her baby was still alive, the court heard.
She has already suffered enough punishment
The court was informed that Blagden visited the baby every day for about four weeks, until the night before the body was taken by animals.
Miss Blagden told the court via video link: “I was there every day until the day she was found.”
Sentenced, district judge Roderick Hine said: “It is difficult to imagine a more tragic circumstance … difficult to imagine the shock she must have felt when the baby was born in the bathroom.
“This led to her collapse, no doubt due to blood loss, and waking up to find that the baby was not breathing.
“She is a young mother, abandoned by a man that I can only describe as despicable.
“He tried to cover himself, which was all that worried him. He was clearly taking care of her.
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“I can’t imagine anyone with more moral scruples.”
He said visiting the child every day for four weeks was “the only psychologically way for him to deal with it”.
The judge gave Blagden an absolute dismissal, stating: “She has already suffered enough punishment”.