Humberside

Woman detained for snatching baby from Hull hospital

Hull Royal Infirmary
Image caption Alicia Steward took the baby from the foyer of Hull Royal Infirmary in December 2017

A woman who snatched a baby from a hospital in a "moment of delusion" has been given an indefinite hospital order.

Alicia Steward, 25, approached a mother who was waiting with her child in the foyer of Hull Royal Infirmary.

She asked the woman "is that my child?" before grabbing the carry-cot and running off with the two-month-old.

Steward was restrained by members of the public in the car park and the baby was returned to its mother unharmed.

Defence barrister Steven Garth told Hull Crown Court the incident, which took place on 27 December 2017, was a "wicked act" but that it was "committed by a woman with severe mental health issues".

The court heard Steward had a long history of mental disorders and had been diagnosed as schizophrenic by two psychiatrists.

She pleaded guilty to child abduction at a hearing in June 2018.

Mr Garth said she was responding well to treatment and was "very regretful" for taking the baby.

Handing Steward an indefinite hospital order, the judge Recorder David Gordon said he had to balance her treatment with "the protection of the public".

Steward was detained under a Section 41 order, which means she can only be released with the approval of the secretary of state for justice.

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