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Woman hid still-born baby's body, court told

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: September 26, 2012

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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, from Glastonbury, Somerset, 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 programme.

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.

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 body.

She also pleaded guilty to preventing a 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 used the name Angela Hobson to obtain a Lotus Elise car by deception, between November 2002 and December 2003, and credit services from the Co-operative Bank, between October 9, 2002, and January 31, 2003.

She used the name Emma Smith to run a pub in Oldham between December 2003 and January 2004 and to try to get a driving licence in January 2004. And she claimed to be Carla Geissler to try to get a passport in March 2004.

In April 2003, Owen made off from the Pennine Manor Hotel, in Huddersfield, without paying for £325.40 of accommodation, food and telephone calls.

Owen, of Bowyers Close, Glastonbury, Somerset, pleaded not guilty to four charges, including obtaining property or services by deception and conspiracy to obtain property by deception.

Christopher Tehrani, prosecuting, said the Crown would not seek a trial on the counts where not guilty pleas had been entered.

Mr Tehrani said Owen had entered a basis of plea that she committed the crimes because she was a victim of domestic violence.

Workmen dug up the body of the baby in the garden of Howroyd Hall on July 12, 2006.

The property had previously been owned by Emmerdale actor Richard Thorp, who played Alan Turner in the ITV1 Yorkshire Dales soap for more than 25 years.

Owen will appear before Bradford Crown Court again on December 14.

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