South African woman found guilty of kidnapping two-day-old baby

Suspicions were raised last year when a similar-looking girl at the child's school was proved to be her sister through DNA testing

A South African woman has been found guilty of kidnapping a two-day-old baby 19 years ago.

The 50-year-old woman was accused by police of fraudulently claiming to be the girl's biological mother after she stole her from a hospital in Cape Town in 1997. 

Suspicions were raised last year when a similar-looking girl at the child's school was proved to be her sister through DNA testing, the BBC reports.

The girl was named Zephany by her parents, Celeste and Morne Nurse. The name she grew up with and the name of her kidnapper have not been revealed to protect her identity. 

Ms Nurse told the court she saw a woman dressed in a nurse's uniform holding her baby before the child disappeared. 

Providing evidence, the accused woman said she believed she had legally adopted the child after her own pregnancy ended in miscarriage. 

She said she was handed the child at a busy railway station by a woman who she had asked to find her a baby to adopt.

According to ITV, when giving his verdict, High Court Judge John Hlophe told the woman: "You must have been the person who removed the child from hospital.

"Your story if anything is a fairy tale and the court rejects it with the contempt it deserves."

Ms Nurse reportedly burst into tears at the verdict. 

Mr Nurse said: "We're over the moon. My daughter is back and we just have to work our way, feel our way and just be happy."

The woman was denied bail and must return to court for sentencing on 30 May. She faces a minimum of five years in prison.

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