Mother pleads guilty to hiding dead newborn

Had the large garbage dumpster been where it could have been emptied, the body of Samantha Richard’s newborn son might never have been found.

Instead, a City of London garbage collector only emptied three of the four large bins behind the highrise building at 675 Richmond St. on Thursday, June 16, 2016 after finding one of them was too close to an overhang to be reached - writes

Three hours later, a man searching the bins for recycling materials found a black reusable President’s Choice grocery bag on top of some cardboard in the only bin that hadn’t been emptied.

He wanted to empty the bag and use it for himself. He untied the two knots that held it shut and found inside a deceased, fully-developed, newborn baby.

That began a police investigation and the quick arrest two days later of Richards in Amherstburg, two hours away from her London apartment.

Two years later, Richards, 25, has pleaded guilty in the Superior Court of Justice to concealing the body of a child.

A second charge of neglecting to obtain assistance during child birth was dropped in December before her scheduled Ontario Court preliminary hearing after the Crown said there was no reasonable prospect of conviction on that count.

In support of the guilty plea, Justice Duncan Grace heard an agreed statement of facts by the Crown and the defence which detailed how the baby’s body ended up in the trash and the role of surveillance cameras throughout the area in cracking the case.

He also heard that the baby was dead for three days before the body was found.

What it didn’t explain was why Richards, who lived in an apartment on Ann Street not far from where the baby’s body was found, made the decision to dispose of the remains the way she did.

Assistant Crown attorney Konrad de Koning told Grace that Richards was aware she was pregnant and that she was likely to have a live birth. That was clear from the activity on her cellphone during her pregnancy.

The baby was born in the bathroom of her apartment on Monday, June 13, 2016.

The baby “died shortly before or during childbirth,” the statement of facts said.

Richards hid the child and placenta in a towel, placed it in the reusable shopping bag and hid the bag in a below-grade grate at the front of her building.

Surveillance camera footage from Tuesday, June 14, 2016 shows she didn’t leave her home all day.

The next day, Wednesday, June 15, 2016, at about 5:30 p.m., Richards retrieved the bag with the dead child from the grate.There were several cameras along the path she took on foot, with the bag in her hand, heading south to the back of 675 Richmond St. and to the four dumpsters.

Then, out of sight of any cameras, she placed the dead baby in one of the dumpsters, before heading to Richmond Street at Pall Mall Street. More cameras showed she no longer had the black bag.

The baby’s body wasn’t found until the next day and only because the garbage in one of the four dumpsters wasn’t collected.

An autopsy revealed the baby was a “normally developed male child” and was at or near full term. He weighed just more than six pounds.

There was no evidence of injuries or developmental abnormalities.

Elena Tugaleva, a London forensic pathologist, reported the cause of death was “unascertained.”

“Ultimately, Dr. Tugaleva found that the baby was viable. Her opinion was that the child had reached 38 weeks of gestation, plus or minus two weeks,” de Koning told Grace.

Richards was determined to be the biological mother of the child through DNA tests.

Grace ordered a pre-sentence report for Richards.

She will be back in London court on July 20 for sentencing.

Read more news of London on our site.
deadnewborn London
If you notice an error, highlight the text you want and press Ctrl + Enter to report it to the editor
1 view in november
I recommend
No recommendations yet


Post your comment to communicate and discuss this article.

Police have launched a manhunt after religious idols and Diwali donations were stolen from two north London temples in early morning raids. The Met said the early morning burglaries were being treated as linked and released a CCTV image of a hooded suspect on Saturday. Officers also urged faith leaders to be vigilant against future incidents. The first happened at the Shree Swaminarayan Temple in Willesden Lane, Brent, on November 9. While the priests were...
Rail commuters have been told not to attempt to travel into London Waterloo after engineering works overran. South Western Railway (SWR) passengers using the route into London Waterloo from Surbiton were warned not to travel on Monday morning. Disruption is expected to last for the entire day and the Network Rail engineering works will not be finished until 8.39am at the earliest.  The rail operator said Woking, Surbiton, Raynes Park and Earlsfield station...
Some 82 people have been arrested after hundreds of protesters gathered in central London in attempts to block five bridges on Saturday, as they demanded the Government take greater action on climate change. The group Extinction Rebellion encouraged people to perform a sit-in across Southwark, Blackfriars, Waterloo, Westminster and Lambeth bridges on following a co-ordinated week of action around the UK. Following their closures, all bridges have now reope...
Almost one million crimes of fly-tipping were reported by councils across England during 2017-18, the first fall in five years. Councils recorded 997,553 incidents of illegal dumping, an average of more than 2,700 a day. It was a slight decrease on the 1,011,000 in 2016-17 and is the first time the figure has dropped since 2013. The government said two-thirds of fly-tipping involved household waste. It did not reveal the total cost to taxpayers of clearing...
Children living in London boroughs with high diesel pollution suffer from stunted lung capacity, putting them at risk of early death, a study has said. Pupils living in areas that failed to meet EU nitrogen dioxide limits were at increased risk of lung disease, researchers found. The research studied 2,000 London school children over five years. "We are raising a generation of children reaching adulthood with stunted lungs," researchers said. Academics fro...
A private school teacher has been left partially blind after another woman smashed a glass in her face during a night out.  Lisa Bertsch, 30, was at the Be At One bar in Richmond when she was hit in her right eye. The tumbler shattered and left Ms Bertsch, who lives with her boyfriend in Kingston, needing emergency surgery. She said the attack happened when she tried to stop the assailant pouring a cocktail over her friend’s belongings. Ms Bertsch added th...
Discarded syringes have been left in play areas and car parks as a BBC investigation found councils were being called 50 times a day to remove them. Figures obtained by the BBC showed councils handled 18,496 cases in 2017-18, a rise of 7% in two years. A volunteer pricked by a discarded needle has told how he faces a wait for HIV and hepatitis test results. The Department for Communities and Local Government said it was "committed to doing more to reduce d...
The German Zeppelin bombing campaign of London during WWI has been brought to the fore again days before the centenary of the war in a film made by schoolchildren. The first ever example of strategic bombing in history - a tactic used in total war with the goal of defeating the enemy by destroying their morale or economy - was during the First World War Emperor Kaiser Wilhelm II initially banned attacks on the capital because of his close connection to the...
London’s busiest train station has recruited a hawk to scare off pigeons following a spate of complaints from angry passengers. Aria, a five-year-old harris hawk, has begun patrolling Waterloostation in a bid to stop people having to “fight" off pigeons while eating. There are 27 food and drink retailers at the Network Rail-managed station, and many customers have complained about pigeons pecking at food and leaving a mess. The birds have been pictured sit...