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Archive - Thursday, 18 July 2013
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Family speak of the moment they found baby Joseph
A FAMILY have spoken of their shock at finding a newborn baby left in a bag on their doorstep in the early hours of this morning.
Tiny Joseph was abandoned on the doorstep of a house in Lower Wick this morning.
Adrienne Hunt called police when she discovered the boy, who is believed to be just 24 hours old, outside her home off Columbia Drive in Lower Wick at about 4.30am.
Her husband Jon said he believed the family home was picked out deliberately because his wife is a registered childminder, and looks after young children in their semi-detached house.
He said: "It was about 4.15 this morning and our doorbell rang for a sustained time, and obviously woke us.
"My wife went to the front door, and upon opening the front door there was no-one there but there was a carrier bag, the type of bag you re-use, a bright-coloured canvas bag on the doorstep.
"It was half closed but we very quickly established there was a young baby in the bag.
"My wife - a little bit shocked - picked up the bag and stepped back inside the house.
"It then suddenly occurred to us to look around and see who might have left it but there was no sign of anybody, no car pulling away, no footsteps or anything like that.
"So we brought the baby inside. My wife is a registered child minder and she's got things like paediatric first aid, so she was checking him over for any signs of distress while I called the police.
"They arrived within a quarter of an hour along with a couple of ambulance people - he seemed in pretty good shape as far as health was concerned.
"He'd been abandoned obviously, but there was no physical signs of injury.
"He was relatively clean. He didn't have a nappy on but he was dressed in a vest and wrapped in a thin blanket and quite calm, he wasn't crying or anything like that although I am guessing he could have been hungry and a little bit weak - but nothing too serious.
"He certainly wasn't starving or anything like that."
Speaking to your Worcester News this afternoon, Adrienne's daughter Emma and son-in-law Luke Bailey said the situation was "like a soap story".
Mr Bailey said: "We got a phone call at 7.10am from my wife's mum saying a baby had been left outside the house.
"We're childminders and we work here. We were trying to watch kids come in while it was a crime scene. All the police were doing searched. We had to get the kids in and explain.
"It's a bizarre thing. You never thing of happening to you - you hear about it in the bigger cities."
Mrs Bailey said it was clear to her Joseph's mother cared for him.
She said: "He was clean. He looked well looked after. Somebody's run out of resources or it looks like she wasn't allowed or wasn't able to keep him.
"It doesn't look like she dumped him. I think they might know what we do. We've got a fairly good reputation, but I don't know how they worked out where we were as we haven't advertised for the last six years.
"My mum's gone into see him. We'll take it in turns to look after him until he finds a home."
The doorbell was rung before Joseph was left on the doorstep in a hessian bag, wrapped in a blanket and wearing a babygrow, but no nappy.
At a press conference earlier today, DCI Stacey Williamson, of West Mercia Police, urged the mother to come forward to seek treatment.
Patti Paine, head of midwifery at Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, said Joseph was likely to have been born close to his due date and was slightly underweight at 5lbs 8oz, but was otherwise healthy.
She said it was not believed he was born at hospital and it may be that the mother had tried to conceal the pregnancy.
She added: "He is a lovely little boy.
"He is being very well looked after by the staff here and is doing very well."
She reiterated the police's plea for the mother to come forward and urged her to call 01905 760663, which will be manned 24 hours by a midwife for the coming days.