The trial of a young woman accused of the manslaughter and neglect of her newborn baby has heard that the baby's body was found at an on-call doctor’s service.
The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, has pleaded not guilty to charges of manslaughter and child neglect alleged to have happened in 2018 at the Caredoc building on Cork Road in Waterford city.
A garda told Waterford Circuit Court today that he was on duty as a dispatcher in the divisional communications room when he received a call to say that a female had presented at University Hospital Waterford with symptoms of having completed a full-term pregnancy, but there was no sign of the baby.
A doctor told the garda that the woman had earlier presented at the Caredoc offices in severe pain.
She had been asked by Dr Adel Abdulrazak in Caredoc for a urine sample and, when she came back from the toilets, her pain was gone.
She had presented at Caredoc with her mother and grandmother in the early hours of the morning.
Under cross-examination by barrister Paul Hutchinson, Garda Aidan Slattery said they knew they were looking for remains of a baby at some stage of development, but he was "upset and shocked" when the baby was later discovered.
Shortly after 1.30pm, Dr Sean McBrinn of Waterford Medical Centre confirmed she was dead.
Practice Nurse Ruth Flynn gave evidence of two consultations where two pregnancy tests returned with negative results.
On the first occasion, the defendant and her mother attended. The mother expressed concern that her daughter was pregnant. Ms Flynn tested the sample and it proved negative.
The defendant declined a blood test. She advised both mother and daughter to talk at home.
Some days later, the defendant returned on her own and a pregnancy test was repeated. That too was negative.
Under cross-examination by barrister Ciaran O’Loughlin, Ms Flynn said the mother was adamant her daughter was pregnant.
The nurse said she felt that the mother would know her daughter better. She advised them to have a heart to heart.
Dr Michael Curtis, former Deputy State Pathologist, told the trial earlier that the baby’s death was attributable to inattention at birth. There was no evidence of a blow being struck or of water inhalation.