in New York
Caroline Beale, the British civil servant accused of killing her newborn baby in a Manhattan hotel room last September and attempting to smuggle the corpse back to Britain in a bag, was released on bail yesterday by a New York court.
Led into court with her hands cuffed behind her back, Ms Beale, 30, appeared traumatised and shook uncontrollably as Judge Robert Hanophy considered the bail request submitted by her lawyer, Michael Dowd. Throughout the brief proceedings, she was circled by armed court guards.
Bail was granted at $75,000 (pounds 48,000), secured by Ms Beale's parents, who this week put forward their semi-detached home in Chingford, Essex, as collateral. She was ordered to stay in New York state and to reappear for a pre-trial hearing on 14 June.
For Ms Beale, bail meant release from New York city's intimidating Rikers Island jail complex, where she has been held since she was arrested at JFK airport after the baby was found by security officers in a travel bag under an overcoat.
Speaking in a low and halting voice, Ms Beale expressed her relief to reporters. "I'll just be glad to be out of Rikers Island", she said. She has been ordered to have regular psychiatric assessments and treatment.
Ms Beale gave birth in a hotel room on the last day of a holiday with her fiance, Paul Faraway, and his two brothers, who apparently knew nothing of her condition or of the delivery.She says she thought the baby was born dead.