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Man talks of shock after finding abandoned baby

Russell Dobson found a baby who was abandoned on a doorstep in Horden, County Durham on 28th May 2015.

He had taken his dog for a walk and found the baby when his dog continued to bark at a bundle of blankets on the floor.

The mother of the baby later came forward to police. Read more here.

Woman sentenced for abandoning her 'secret baby'

Leigh-Anne Varley outside court

A court has heard how a woman gave birth in the bathroom of her home before leaving the baby on a neighbour's doorstep.

Leigh-Anne Varley, 36 from Horden in County Durham, went into labour on May 28. Her son, 6, was asleep in the house and her husband and teenage daughter were out.

She wrapped the baby in dressing gowns. She had intended to take the baby to a walk-in centre but couldn't leave her other son asleep alone, so she left it on a neighbour's doorstep.

She left it with a note saying "please take care of my baby boy, please do not go public..."

The court heard she believed the baby was the result of an affair, and that she was too far along to terminate the pregnancy. She had concealed the pregnancy from her family saying the bloating was due to ovarian cysts.

The court heard also how she feared breaking up the family unit and that she was concerned about the impact on her daughter who was sitting her GCSEs at the time.

She pleaded guilty at the first opportunity and was given a 14 week suspended sentence for neglect and abandonment of a child at Peterlee Magistrates court.

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Abandoned baby was discovered by pet dog

A baby boy abandoned on a doorstep in Horden, Peterlee was discovered by a pet dog.

Janice Clish, resident of the house where the baby was found, said: "My boyfriend was taking the dog round the block and the dog stopped at my door.

"He went over and that's when we found the baby on the floor. I was shocked."

Newborn baby boy left on doorstep in Horden

Police say a newborn baby was found on a doorstep in Horden, Peterlee. The baby boy was taken to hospital and is well.

“We can confirm that a newborn baby was found at 4.48am on the doorstep of a property in the Horden area today.

“The little boy was taken North Tees Hospital and is thankfully fit and well.

“We are now working closely with our partners at Durham County Council’s Children Services as part of this investigation.

“However, our priority is that mother and baby, who has been named Jack by hospital staff, get all the support necessary.

“We are obviously concerned about the mother’s welfare and want to reassure her we are all here to help.”

– Detective Inspector Aelfwynn Sampson, from Durham Constabulary’s Safeguarding, team

Anyone with information is urged to contact police on 101.

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Baby was abandoned in street confirm police

Police have confirmed a baby was abandoned this morning but cannot confirm further details at this point. It is believed that a baby was left in the street next to a medical centre in Horden, Peterlee.

Driving by the scene was taxi driver Councillor Mary Cartwright who gave ITV News Tyne Tees this statement:

"I was coming back from a job at the airport and I called by a friend's house. It was 04.30am so no-one was around. As I came round the bend the whole of Horden was deserted apart from a police car and I saw a policeman stood holding a baby in his arms. It was about 04.50am so no-one else was around. You could just see the baby's head protruding from the blankets.

"Suddenly, an ambulance pulled up and I thought it was odd that no one got out. The policeman ran straight to the ambulance and passed the baby to the person in the passenger's seat and they were off, straight away. The police and the ambulance service did such a grand job. The policeman waved and asked me to turn around. "I'm a mother myself and have three girls, so I went straight on Facebook and put a plea out for the mother to contact me. She must be very distressed - I hope she gets in touch. She'll be needing help."

– Cllr Mary Cartwright
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