No jail time for Kamloops woman who admitted to killing newborn baby - InfoNews

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No jail time for Kamloops woman who admitted to killing newborn baby

November 30, 2016 - 3:57 PM

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KAMLOOPS - A Kamloops woman who has admitted to killing her newborn baby won't spend any time behind bars after lawyers requested the judge hand down a suspended sentence.

Courtney Saul, born in 1992, pleaded guilty to one charge of infanticide, after drowning her hours-old baby, George Saul, in her bathroom sink. Details surrounding the infant's death were protected under a court-ordered publication ban until today.

Saul won't face jail time, but she will be placed on probation for two years, based on a joint submission from Crown and defence lawyers.

Crown prosecutor Will Burrows told Kamloops Provincial Court today, Nov. 30, that Saul's deceased newborn was found in the trunk of her vehicle weeks after his death.

Saul was 19 when her baby was born. Court heard she didn't know she was pregnant until it was "too late" in the pregnancy. 

Burrows says Saul told an officer she gave birth to the child on Dec. 15, 2011. She was living alone in a basement suite in Kamloops and had an exam for school later that day.

She began going into labour and sat on the toilet to give birth. Burrows says she held the child for a period of time, while she tried to figure out what she would do.

Saul drowned the baby in her bathroom sink before going to take her exam. After the test, court heard Saul came home and wrapped the corpse in a T-shirt, then a shower curtain before eventually putting the child in a computer box.

Burrows says she had planned on bringing the child back to her hometown of Lillooet to bury it. But in January 2012, someone borrowed Saul's car, not knowing the dead infant was in the trunk.

The driver was involved in an accident in downtown Kamloops and fled the scene. The fire department attended and opened the trunk to disable the battery, Burrows says. Investigating officers then found a backpack.

They were hoping to find identification in the bag, but when they lifted it up they found the computer box. They opened it up and found the deceased child inside.

She was arrested and charged with infanticide in January 2012, but the charges have switched back and forth from infanticide and second-degree murder multiple times since then.

Court heard Saul became pregnant during a sexual assault while she was 18 years old. She had gone to a party in Merritt, where she got drunk and passed out. She woke up with her clothes off. 

"The circumstances of the conception are unfortunate," Burrows says.

Defence lawyer Murray Armstrong said Saul is not a risk to the public.

"This is certainly a tragedy in all senses of the word," Armstrong says. "There's no punishment greater than the guilt and remorse she's been feeling."

Armstrong says Saul is very willing to undergo counselling. Under her probation terms, Saul must inform her officer if she is pregnant.

For more on Canada's infanticide law, and criticism over it, go here.


To contact a reporter for this story, email Ashley Legassic or call 250-319-7494 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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