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Woman Secretly Gives Birth in Bathroom and Leaves Her Newborn on Neighbor's Doorstep

Karabo Baloyi
May 04, 2022
09:40 P.M.
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When 36-year-old Leigh-Anne Varley told her husband that her bulging tummy was due to ovarian cysts, she lied. Even worse, Leigh-Anne was hiding a secret that would soon be known by millions of people.


Leigh-Anne and Simon Varley were a married couple who led a seemingly normal life. They shared a 16-year-old daughter and a six-year-old son. Leigh-Anne and her family lived in Horden County Durham in the UK.

In 2015, the family began planning a dream trip to Disneyland in Florida. While they planned their trip, Leigh-Anne's family noticed that her tummy was growing.

A husband, wife and their two children. | Source: Getty Images


Simon questioned if she was pregnant, and she denied it. Leigh-Anne claimed that she had ovarian cysts, which caused her stomach to swell. She even flushed a pregnancy test down the toilet. 


But in reality, Leigh-Anne was cheating on her husband, and she fell pregnant. She believed that the baby belonged to her lover, and she was terrified of telling her husband the truth.     

Even worse, Leigh-Anne found out about her pregnancy when it was too late to have an abortion. So, she decided to keep her pregnancy a secret from everyone she knew. 


A woman with a growing tummy. | Source: Getty Images

For several months, Leigh-Anne researched how to safely give birth at home to not alert her husband by going to the hospital to give birth. 


The evening Leigh-Anne went into labor, Simon worked the night shift, and her daughter was out with friends. She did some housework, then later put her son to sleep. 

She gathered towels, scissors, and everything else she needed for the dangerous procedure. As soon as Leigh-Anne started feeling contractions, she quickly went into the bathroom for the delivery and gave birth to a healthy baby boy in the bathtub.

A newborn baby. | Source: Getty Images


After the birth, Leigh-Anne left the placenta in a carrier bag and dropped it off in a dustbin. She then dressed and wrapped the baby in a dressing gown.

As soon as she gathered her strength, she walked a short distance to the doorstep of an apartment. Leigh-Anne placed the baby on the doorstep with a note saying:

"Please take care of my baby boy. Please don't go public as my husband is violent and will kill me."

A woman writing a note. | Source: Getty Images


Leigh-Anne initially planned to drop the baby off at a walk-in medical center. But she was worried about leaving her six-year-old son alone in bed, so she opted to leave the baby at the nearby apartment.


Leigh-Anne knocked on the neighbor's door to alert them to the baby, but no one walked out. A few hours later, at around 4:45 a.m. on May 26, 2015, Janice Clish walked out of her house with her then-partner, Russell Dobson.

The couple stepped out with their dog, Zak, and were shocked to find the baby on the doorstep. They immediately called the police, who arrived and picked up the baby. 


The police arriving at the scene. | Source: Getty Images

The police sent the baby to the hospital to run some tests. While he was there, the nurses named the baby Jack. After DNA tests confirmed that Leigh-Anne was Jack's mother, she initially denied that the baby belonged to her.



But Leigh-Anne eventually admitted that Jack was her baby. The police subsequently charged her with assault and child abandonment. During court proceedings, the defense attorney, Sheila Ramshaw, argued:

"This poor lady has suffered a lot over several months. She is of impeccable character. She is someone we will never see before the courts again."

A magistrate making a verdict. | Source: Getty Images


Sarah Traynor argued for the prosecution. She said, "This is a very sad case. She is of previous good character and was in a desperate situation which led to the offense occurring."

Sarah further said that Leigh-Anne was afraid of breaking up her family unit by admitting to Simon that she had been cheating. The magistrate concluded the case by telling Leigh-Anne that she wouldn't go to jail.

Instead, they imposed a 14-week prison sentence suspended for 12 months and ordered Varley to pay approximately $400 in costs. After Janice, the neighbor who found baby Jack heard about the verdict, she was surprised.

An infant. | Source: Getty Images


She believed that Leigh-Anne should have gone to prison for abandoning baby Jack. But Janice also reasoned, "You never know what mental health she has. When the police arrived, I didn't want to give the baby up. I bonded with him."

Leigh-Anne remained part of her family unit, and her story shows that it is always better to be truthful, especially when innocent children are involved. 


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