Mum admits burying stillborn baby's body at mansion
A 46-year-old woman has admitted secretly giving birth to a stillborn baby boy and burying his body in a bin liner in the grounds of a 300-year-old mansion.
Angela Owen, of Bowyers Close, Glastonbury, pleaded guilty to concealing the birth and preventing the burial of the child, whose body was found in 2006 by workmen who were renovating Howroyd Hall, near Halifax, West Yorkshire.
Owen, who had not been seen since 2004, was arrested in the Somerset area earlier this year after an appeal on the BBC Crimewatch appeal.
She also pleaded guilty to a number of fraud charges relating to using different names in order to obtain a car, a passport, a driving licence and financial services.
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Owen, with dyed red hair and wearing a grey coat and pink striped scarf, spoke only to confirm her name and enter pleas at Bradford Crown Court.
She admitted endeavouring to conceal the birth of the child, between 2001 and 2006, by secretly disposing of the dead body.
She also pleaded guilty to preventing the lawful burial between the same dates by putting the baby boy’s body in a black plastic bin liner and concealing it in the grounds of Howroyd Hall, in Barkisland.
Owen also pleaded not guilty to four charges, including obtaining property or services by deception and conspiracy to obtain property by deception, following the use of a string of aliases to run a pub, hire a car and to elicit services from the Co-op Bank and accommodation at the Pennine Manor Hotel.
Christopher Tehrani, prosecuting, said: “The Crown would not seek a trial on the counts where not guilty pleas have been entered.”
Mr Tehrani said Owen had entered a basis of plea that she committed the crimes because she was a domestic violence victim.
He said the Crown did not accept this at the moment and would investigate the claims.
“Miss Owen says that she was a victim of domestic violence at the hands of a former partner and the majority of her actions were the result of his behaviour,” he said.
Workmen dug up the body of the baby in the garden of Howroyd Hall on July 12, 2006.
A post-mortem examination revealed it was a newborn, full-term baby boy.
West Yorkshire Police said the death was not suspicious but appealed for help to find Owen.
Before her arrest, Owen was last seen near Weston-super- Mare in June 2004. She was known to have many aliases, including Ann Hall, Carla Geissler and Helen Gee.
Owen will appear before Bradford Crown Court again on December 14.