Mother admits abandoning newborn baby on doorstep

Police and an ambulance in Horden, near to the Shinwell Medical Centre, after the discovery of a newborn baby on a doorstep in May this year.
Police and an ambulance in Horden, near to the Shinwell Medical Centre, after the discovery of a newborn baby on a doorstep in May this year.

A mum has admitted abandoning her newborn baby boy.

Leigh-Anne Varley, 36, of Park View, Horden, pleaded guilty to the charge of assaulting, ill treating or neglecting a young person through her solicitor during an administrative hearing at Peterlee Magistrates’ Court yesterday.

Shinwell Medical Centre, Fourth Street, Horden

Shinwell Medical Centre, Fourth Street, Horden

The incident is said to have happened in Peterlee on Thursday, May 28, when she was responsible for the infant with the charge stating her actions were likely to cause him unnecessary suffering or injury to health contrary to the Children and Young Persons Act 1933.

The case was adjourned until Thursday, September 17, to allow the probation service to prepare reports ahead of a sentencing hearing.

The 12-day-old baby was discovered abandoned on a doorstep in Emerson Court, Horden, and near Shinwell Medical Centre, in the early hours, with the police and ambulance service quickly alerted. The boy was taken to the University of North Tees Hospital in Stockton, and was found to be fit well

Officers worked with Durham County Council’s Children Services department as an investigation got under way, with a woman coming forward to say she was the mother a short time later.

It was so dreadful, you don’t expect to find a baby on your own doorstep.

Janice Clish

She was spoken to by officers and taken to hospital for medical intervention.

A grandmother Janice Clish, 52, said her partner, Russell Dobson, 60, who lives in neighbouring Fifth Street, was taking his Lakeland Terrier, Zac, for an early morning walk before going to work at NSK when they came across the baby wrapped in a dressing gown.

They scooped him up, took him inside and called police.

Janice, a mum-of-two, said: “It was so dreadful, you don’t expect to find a baby on your own doorstep.”

Councillor Mary Cartwright, mayor of Peterlee, drove by after the baby was found and saw a police officer with the baby in his arms.

She said: “Whoever found the baby, a big well done to them, they’re a hero.”