Sun | Feb 17, 2019

‘Go near any baby and you’ll be arrested’ - Judge gives woman who allegedly snatched infant stern warning

Published:Wednesday | January 23, 2019 | 12:46 AMChristopher Thomas /Gleaner Writer

Melissa Harriot, the St James woman accused of stealing a three-week-old baby at Cornwall Regional Hospital on January 4, was given a stern warning by Parish Judge Kacia Grant when she had her bail extended in the St James Parish Court yesterday.

“If you go near any baby that doesn’t belong to you, it is a breach of your bail conditions and you’ll be arrested,” the judge cautioned Harriot as she was offered bail in the sum of $350,000 with two sureties.

The 26-year-old has been charged with child stealing, after reportedly disappearing with an infant from Cornwall Regional Hospital in Montego Bay on January 4.

According to reports, at approximately 1:50 p.m. that day, the infant and her mother were visiting the hospital when the mother was befriended by Harriot. Shortly after, the mother reportedly left the baby in Harriot’s care and went to use the restroom.

Upon her return, both Harriot and the baby were missing. A report was subsequently made to the police and, following investigations, Harriot, her boyfriend, and the child were found two days later in Greens district in Norwood, St James.

Harriot was arrested and later charged. The child was subsequently returned to her parents.

In granting bail, Grant advised Harriot, who reportedly suffered a miscarriage some time ago, to seek counselling based on her history of seeking to have a child of her own.

The court was also told that several statements and video footage that are relevant to the case were still outstanding from the prosecution’s case file. The judge set a case mention date for February 25.