Woman guilty of killing her newborn must submit pregnancy test results every 6 months for 5 years
A 43-year-old Montreal woman who pleaded guilty in the 2016 death of her newborn has been sentenced to 20 months house arrest and three years probation and, in a case believed to be the first in Canada, must submit pregnancy test results every six months during that entire period.
This is the second time the woman gave birth without knowing she was pregnant but the other baby survived.
The woman cannot be named because it's a youth protection case.
It was the woman's husband who found the body of the infant girl in a plastic bag in the bathroom of the family home - the newborn had stab wounds to the head. She died in hospital a few days later.
The charge of second degree murder was later reduced to infanticide.
Defence lawyer Joseph La Leggia said his client is already doing pregnancy tests but now has to hand in the results twice a year - a measure he said he believes is the first case of its kind in Canada.
"Necessary? I think it was more wanted than necessary. Each case is a case on its own. In this particular case, all the circumstances called for it and my client accepted it," La Leggia told reporters after the sentencing.
Judge Linda Despots accepted the joint sentencing recommendation of 20 months to be served in the community, citing a pre-sentencing report saying the woman was a devoted mother to her three other children, has a low risk of re-offending and expressed guilt and remorse despite not remembering what happened.
"The baby died only three days later. During those three days she was in the hospital, she was able to see the child and that's when she realized exactly what had happened and the remorse comes from that," said La Leggia.
The woman will also have to continue her psychiatric therapy sessions.