Africa South African woman found guilty of 1997 baby kidnapping

South African woman found guilty of 1997 baby kidnapping

Celeste Nurse,centre left, the mother of a child abducted in 1997, leaves a court with families and friends, in Cape Town, South Africa, Thursday, March. 10, 2016.
Celeste Nurse,centre left, the mother of a child abducted in 1997, leaves a court with families and friends, in Cape Town, South Africa, Thursday, March. 10, 2016.

A judge in South Africa has found a woman guilty of kidnapping a baby nearly two decades ago and raising it as her own.

The African News Agency reported that Judge John Hlophe in Cape Town convicted the woman of kidnapping, fraud and contravening child protection laws. The news agency said the judge did not extend her bail and the woman will be detained until her sentencing hearing on May 30.

State prosecutors said the woman snatched a three-day-old baby from her sleeping mother’s hospital bedside in Cape Town in 1997. The woman, now 51, pleaded not guilty to all three charges. During the trial she testified that she adopted the child.

The child, known to the media as Zephany Nurse, was reunited with her biological parents last year.