Stuart and Anne Connett of Grimsby in Lincolnshire, England, noticed that their downstairs toilet wasn’t flushing and called plumber Joe Hiatt to determine the cause of the blockage.
According to the Express, it was February of 2016 when Stuart went into the yard with Hiatt to investigate. While looking into the drains on the property, the two men discovered an item wrapped in three shopping bags that was blocking the pipes.
They opened the bags and found the body of a baby boy wrapped in a towel, a coin from 2013, and hair bands.
— BBC Look North (EYL) (@looknorthBBC) February 16, 2016
The Humberside Police were called to investigate. Detective Christine Calvert told the BBC that both Stuart Connett and Hiatt were in “extreme shock” that a baby had been found on the property:
“It’s an extreme shock to the occupants, they don’t know anything about it.”
Stuart Connett was surprised by the discovery, but DNA soon proved that he was the baby’s grandfather. His daughter, Sinead Connett, 29, had provided a voluntary DNA sample to the police and it matched the DNA on the towel.
Sinead initially denied that the baby was hers, then later told the police that she gave birth to a stillborn inside her bathroom in August of 2013.
The body of baby William lay undiscovered in a drain for two and a half years https://t.co/cgTynf1URA
— Grimsby Telegraph (@GrimsbyTel) October 3, 2017
After she gave birth, she drove to her parents’ home to seek assistance. When the Connetts didn’t answer the door, Sinead said she panicked and left the baby in the garden drain.
Though police officers are certain the baby boy is, in fact, Sinead’s, other facts surrounding the incident have been more difficult to prove.
According to the Telegraph, Sinead lied to the police several times, including who fathered the baby. She initially told the police that she was raped, but DNA proved that the baby was from her boyfriend at the time, Jonathan Layfield.
The Daily Mail reports that Layfield is Sinead’s current husband and a former teacher. He was forced to resign after he had a relationship with a 16-year-old student.
Sinead also told police that she wanted to abort the baby but learned she was pregnant too late into the pregnancy. Medical records from January 2013 showed that she had known about the pregnancy for months.
This week, the Telegraph reported, Sinead was found guilty of “concealing the birth of a child” and was sentenced to one year in prison.
Judge Jeremy Richardson QC told the court, as reported by the Daily Mail, that Sinead had committed a “deplorable” act that hurt her family:
“There is no escaping the fact that your dead son lay buried in a drain at your parents’ home for three years. You put him in that drain. You deprived your dead son of any dignity. Many would describe your conduct as wicked. You wanted to conceal the pregnancy, the birth and the death of your son. Your conduct was truly deplorable.”
According to the Grimsby Telegraph, prosecuting attorney Jeremy Evans argued that Sinead was more concerned about her reputation than she was about the well-being of her child. Sinead had worked as an HR representative for British grocery store Marks & Spencer before the incident.
The Daily Mail reports that Sinead told police that she wanted to keep the news from Layfield. Yet she traveled to Turkey with him in August of 2013 and started having labor pains on the airplane. She insists that nobody else was aware of her pregnancy.