Mum walks free after burying her stillborn child

Angela Owen''Barkisland dead baby in a carrier bag story
Angela Owen''Barkisland dead baby in a carrier bag story

A mum who buried her stillborn child under a Christmas tree has walked free after sentencing at Bradford Crown Court.

Angela Owen, 47, was sentenced to a 12-month community order for concealing the birth of a child, preventing the lawful and decent burial of a dead body and six offences of fraud. She was told she escaped jail due to time spent on remand and curfew. She was also ordered to pay £400 towards costs.

The court was told Owen was renting with her partner Paul Beaumont and young daughter, at the former servants’ quarters, of Howroyd Hall, Barkisland, when the baby boy was born in 2001.

In May 2002, Owen, her partner and daughter moved to Rochdale.

In 2006, workmen at Howroyd Hall found the stillborn child in a black bin liner while carrying out excavation works.

Owen was arrested in 2012 after an appeal on Crimewatch.

Detective Inspector Steve Snow of West Yorkshire Police’s Homicide and Major Enquiry Team, (HMET) said: “This is the culmination of a painstaking and detailed investigation over seven years for a woman who used at least 27 different names and aliases to attempt to evade justice.

“The investigation into Owen started in July 2006 after the discovery of the decomposed remains of a new born baby in Barkisland, Halifax.

“There then followed numerous appeals in the media to try and trace her.

“But she had moved to Glastonbury, Somerset and reinvented herself as the archetypal ‘respectable woman next door’ living a ‘normal’ life.

“Despite regular appeals, officers were unable to trace Owen before a national appeal on Crimewatch. That programme clearly struck a chord and she was arrested within two hours of the show being broadcast.

“From the outset Owen admitted concealing the birth of her child and failing to notify the Coroner of the birth. These are serious offences and also meant she was unable to seek medical attention at what must have been a very difficult time.

“And in addition to this she admitted six counts of fraud totalling £26,000.”

She reinvented herself as Carla Stockman.