Attic babies nurse tried to hide her shameful secrets; She walks free after keeping tots' bodies.
A GUILT-RIDDEN nurse who hid her three stillborn babies at home for more than20years was spared a jail sentence yesterday.
A judge gave Ann Mahoney 12 months community rehabilitation and said she concealed the bodies out of shame as they were the products of one-night stands.
The horrific case came to light when the new owner of one of Mahoney's former homes found the mummified body of a baby boy in a suitcase in his attic.
Police then discovered the other two tots, one male and one female, at 63-yearold Mahoney's present house. They were wrapped in plastic bags in the loft.
The court accepted Mahoney's evidence that the babies were stillbirths. The bodies were too badly decomposed to establish whether they were born dead or alive.
Mahoney, who has two grown-up daughters, took the tiny corpses with her at least four times when she moved house.
But her lawyers said that when she moved to her current address, she "simply forgot" one of the dead little boys.
Mahoney said she gave birth to the tots between 1970 and 1982. Tests said they could have been born any time between 1969 and 1986.
The first of the three dead babies was fathered by an Indian doctor at a hospital where Mahoney worked. The fathers of the other two are unknown.
A friend said: "Ann was a liberated woman who had flings with the doctors at work.The joke around the hospital was that she was in bed more than the patients."
Mahoney was able to hide her pregnancies because of her ample build.She said she delivered the babies herself at home, using her nurse's training, then hid them to stop her family finding out about her affairs.
She pleaded guilty in August to three counts of trying to concealing a birth, andcould have faced a two-year prison term. But yesterday, judge John Curran told Mahoney it wouldbe unjust to jail her.
He said she hid the babies out of "a misplaced sense of shame and fear of rejection" while suffering from a depressive illness.
Despite her guilty secret, Mahoney threw herself into community work in her home town of Merthyr Tydfil, south Wales.
She ran a kids' football team, served as a school governor, and tackled crime on her tough estate. The local crime prevention panel named her Citizen of the Year in 2002.
Prosecutors told Merthyr Tydfil Crown Court that Mahoney did the community work "to make good her wrongdoing".
Mahoney has been living in a bail hostel. She wants to resume life in Merthyr but locals say they will shun her if she returns.
Local magistrate Dave Phillips said: "Ann Mahoney was a pillar of her estate.
"In my heart, I feel sorry for her and her family. It must have been a tremendous burden for her to carry over those years
"PILLAR OF COMMUNITY": Ann Mahoney; SEARCH: Police hunt for bodies
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|Publication:||Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)|
|Date:||Oct 4, 2005|
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