21-year-old Nadene Manukau-Togiavalu kidnapped the baby she was caring for and pretended it was hers after faking her pregnancy for months.
She wore a fake pregnancy suit and celebrated a hoax baby shower as part of her scam.
After convincing her family and friends that she had given birth, she claimed that the government forced her to give up her baby for adoption. With her 18-year-old cousin, she planned to steal her baby back.
The baby these two planned to steal was a couple’s newborn who employed Nadene to look after in the evenings.
On her third night with the family, who hired her through an agency, Nadene waited for the father to sleep. That’s when her cousin Sydnee Taulapapa opened the gate and got inside the house. She left carrying the child and bags full of items.
Then, Nadene shouted: “The house has been robbed! The house has been robbed!”
About eighty police searched for 6 hours before they found the baby.
Nadene was jailed for three years for burglary, kidnapping, making an intimate visual recording, criminal harassment, and dishonestly using a document.
According to the New Zealand Herald, the intimate visual recording and criminal harassment charges were related to her ex-boyfriend.
18-year-old Toulapapa, Nadene’s cousin, was ordered to do 400 hours of community work and pay $2,000 compensation.
The baby’s mom described the incident as her worst nightmare, saying she wakes up every night to check if her baby is still in her cot.
It was discovered that a nanny agency had recommended Nadene and she moved into the family’s house two days before the kidnapping occurred.
“It was an absolute violation of trust. We welcomed her into our home,” the child’s father said.
Toulapapa’s defense lawyer Annabel Cresswell said the 18-year-old had been naïve and was truly sorry. “She still didn’t understand the gravity and still thought she had Nadene’s baby.”
What’s your take on this? Do you think that three years is enough for kidnapping a baby? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below!