Baby Abbie's abductor put on probation

Julie Kelley, 22, who took Abbie Humphries from hospital five hours after she was born, in an abduction that gripped the nation, was yesterday put on probation for three years.

Mr Justice Laws ordered that Kelley, who admitted kidnapping the baby in July and holding her for 16 days, spend the time in a psychiatric unit. Kelley, who is due to give birth in three weeks, remained expressionless, then smiled slightly when the judge delivered the verdict after deliberating for 90 minutes.

William Everard, the prosecuting solicitor, described how Kelley, disguised in a nurse's uniform, sunglasses and wig, had calmly and confidently walked into ward B27 of the Queen's Medical Centre materity unit in Nottingham on 1 July and taken the baby from its father, Roger. She said she was taking Abbie for a routine hearing check.

Mr Everard claimed she had abducted the baby to continue the lie told in September last year to her boyfriend, Leigh Gilbert, that she was pregnant with his child. Mr Everard claimed Mr Gilbert and his family had believed Kelley's story. The court heard that at the time of the abduction, Kelley was in fact three months pregnant. Kelley has always insisted that she was pregnant in September last year and that she lost the baby.

The prosecution insisted the abduction was premeditated, and said Kelley had bought the wig the day before the abduction and had also visited the ward on the same day.

Helena Kennedy QC, Kelley's barrister, claimed that Kelley was suffering from a personality disorder and had been, or believed she was, pregnant when she told Mr Gilbert. She begged for mercy for Kelley, insisting she needed psychiatric treatment, not a prison sentence.

The judge said he was sure Kelley had gone to the medical centre to take a baby, but that her personality disorder diminished her moral responsibility at the time.

He took into consideration Kelley's difficult childhood, her previous good character, and the well-being of her unborn child.

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executives - OTE £60,000

£25000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you passionate about Custom...

Recruitment Genius: Care Workers Required - The London Borough of Bromley

£15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This homecare agency is based in Beckenh...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executives - OTE £50,000

£25000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you passionate about Custom...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executives - OTE £50,000

£25000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you passionate about Custom...

Day In a Page

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
10 best high-end laptops

10 best high-end laptops

From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
Adam Gemili interview: 'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

After a year touched by tragedy, Adam Gemili wants to become the sixth Briton to run a sub-10sec 100m
Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

Homeless Veterans campaign

Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

Meet Racton Man

Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

Garden Bridge

St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

Joint Enterprise

The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

Freud and Eros

Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum