A Surrey woman who disposed of her newborn son’s dead body avoided any time behind bars, but will effectively be under house arrest for the next six months.
Courtny Dawn Taylor, 22, was handed a 12-month conditional sentence by Richmond provincial court Judge Jodie Werier on Monday morning.
During the first six months of her sentence, she’s not to leave her mother’s home—where she currently resides—save for work, court appearances, medical emergencies or a maximum of three hours per week to shop.
In handing down her sentence, Werier said she could not find within a reasonable doubt that Taylor knew she was pregnant until two days before she gave birth in the washroom of her boyfriend’s home in Richmond.
But Werier declined to give Taylor a conditional discharge, as defence lawyer Chandra Corriveau had requested, and noted one sentencing report which showed she wasn’t able to give a reasonable explanation for what happened on Jan. 31, 2010.
Taylor was not remorseful for what happened, according to one pre-sentencing report.
Shortly after the incident, she took a nap and smoked marijuana, Judge Werier said.
And while Taylor only missed one day at work, she continued to socialize, including a visit to the casino.
It wasn’t until a co-worker noticed Taylor had suddenly lost a lot of weight that police were called in. They eventually confronted Taylor and her boyfriend, and the remains of her son’s body were eventually found at the Burns Bog landfill after a three-day search.
“This is a social stigma she will be burdened with for the rest of her life,” Werier said.
Taylor told investigators that giving birth was a shock to her. During her pregnancy, she continued to deny to her family and boyfriend that she was pregnant.
After giving birth to her son, who she claims was stillborn with an umbilical cord wrapped around his neck, she took a shower and then cleaned up the blood in the bathroom.
She then woke up her boyfriend, told him what happened, and said that they should throw the baby out because it would start to decompose and smell. They then wrapped it in a towel and placed it in a garbage bag before tossing everything in a dumpster at a nearby school.
Crown counsel Patti Tomasson argued that an 18-month conditional sentence was appropriate, including 12 months of house arrest.
Tomasson argued Taylor deliberately chose to conceal her pregnancy.
Taylor was deemed by one report to be at low risk to re-offend, while another said she was low-to-moderate.
Taylor also received a two-year term of probation, during which she will submit to a pregnancy test in the event her probation officer orders one.
She’ll also have to give up a sample of her DNA which will be placed on a federal database.
Taylor is to abstain from the consumption of alcohol and drugs during her conditional sentence.