Alleged baby kidnapper in court
A woman charged with abducting a newborn baby from hospital has had her charge upgraded to kidnapping.
Neha Narayan, 25, made her first appearance in the High Court at Auckland today following an incident in January.
She was alleged to have taken the baby from the maternity ward into the car park of Middlemore Hospital before being stopped by security.
Narayan was originally charged with abduction but this was upgraded to the more serious charge of kidnapping, requiring her case to go to the High Court.
Kidnapping carries a maximum penalty of 14 years in prison while abduction, which pertains to a victim under 16 years old, carries a seven-year maximum.
The upgraded charge meant Narayan also needed a more senior defence lawyer and she has retained experienced Auckland barrister Ron Mansfield.
A lawyer appearing for Mansfield requested a three-week remand, which Justice Timothy Brewer approved.
Narayan was remanded on bail without plea.
- © Fairfax NZ News