Dead-baby student sentenced

Last updated 00:00 01/01/2009

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A student who gave birth in a toilet and then threw the dead baby out of the window has been sentenced to supervision and community service.

Patricia Golovale-Siaosi, 22, who had her interim name suppression lifted yesterday, pleaded guilty to infanticide in June. Her sentencing was adjourned till yesterday to enable her to retain her university scholarship and complete her degree at Otago University.

In the High Court at Dunedin, Justice Hansen sentenced Golovale-Siaosi to 12 months' supervision, 130 hours of community work, and ordered her to undertake a psychiatric assessment and counselling. An element of her punishment was the publication of her name, Justice Hansen said.

Golovale-Siaosi gave birth to a 3.3-kilogram girl in a toilet at student accommodation in Studholme Hall, Dunedin, on May 20, 2006.

She had not told anyone she was pregnant because she did not want to lose her scholarship and was ashamed to be unmarried and pregnant, Dunedin District Court was told late last year.

She heard a splash when the baby was born into the toilet and she felt faint. But she did not tell her sister, who was waiting outside, to help the baby out of the toilet.

Golovale-Siaosi did not rescue the baby because she did not want her sister to know about the birth, the court was told. She returned alone to the bathroom to clean up and, placing the apparently dead baby and her placenta into a plastic bag, threw them out of a window into the garden below, before collapsing in the hallway.

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