Mother who abandoned baby gets suspended sentence in Samoa

The mother of a dead baby, who was found by a dog at Vaitele-fou last year, burst into tears when she was sentenced to two years probation by the Supreme Court.

Seutatia Taina, 25, had pleaded guilty to two charges of failing in her duty to provide the necessaries of life and abandoning a child under the age of 6-years.

Each charge carries a maximum penalty of seven years in prison. Yesterday, Chief Justice, His Honour Patu Tiava’asue Falefatu Sapolu, decided against sending her to prison.

The incident occurred on Friday 27 September 2013 at Vaitele-fou. According to His Honour Patu, when Taina awoke at 5 that morning, she felt pain in her stomach.

She went to the bathroom and sat on the toilet seat where she gave birth. The baby fell into the toilet bowl.

“According to the material before the court she picked up the baby looked at it for a minute before the placenta was removed.”

The defendant was responsible for detaching the placenta from the baby. After this she took the baby to the shower and laid it on a towel.

She had a shower then, before picking up the child and taking him outside under a tree next to the bathroom. There, she left him before reentering the house where she had another shower.

The baby was found by a resident of the village when a dog dragged its remains to his house. According to a psychiatric report, the accused during the time she abandoned the child, was not in her right mind.

Taina was working for the accounts division of the Ministry of Communication Information and Technology (M.C.I.T) when the incident happened. She was suspended from work.


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