Trois Rivieres baby abductor sentenced to two years in jail
Published Tuesday, October 14, 2014 2:23PM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, October 14, 2014 10:40PM EDT
The woman who abducted a day-old infant from a hospital in Trois Rivieres earlier this year will serve two years less a day in jail.
Valerie Poulin-Collins, 21, pleaded guilty to two counts of kidnapping after the May abduction.
The sentence was recommended by both the Crown and the defence, who agreed it was fair. Poulin-Collins will also spend six months in a rehab facility following her jail term and will also have a three-year probation period in which she will have to stay away from hospitals, daycares and schools.
While entering her plea Tuesday, Poulin-Collins read a letter to the newborn's parents asking for forgiveness.
In emotional testimony, she revealed a troubled childhood and her motivation for the kidnapping. In tears, the young woman said she was one of six children and was always the black sheep. She said she was sexually abused by a family member as a child.
She also said she battled mental health issues including a personality disorder, depression and obsessive compulsive tendencies. She revealed she was addicted to prescription medication and had made 15 suicide attempts over a two-year period.
Poulin-Collins was diagnosed with a brain tumour that, although not cancerous, affected the chemistry in her brain. A psychologist testified the tumour heightened her maternal instincts, bringing on an intense desire to have a child. This desire only increased after she suffered a miscarriage.
In May, Poulin-Collins walked into the room of Melissa McMahon at the Trois Rivieres hospital disguised as a nurse and took her newborn daughter Victoria Boisclair, born just 16 hours earlier.
Poulin-Collins took the child to a friend's home and then went shopping, saying she had just adopted the child from a young couple.
The Surete du Quebec issued an Amber Alert, and former neighbours recognized Poulin-Collins in a security photo distributed by police.
Poulin-Collins was arrested three-and-a-half hours after the infant was abducted and was immediately taken to hospital.
She underwent a psychiatric assessment and was found fit to understand the charges she was facing.
At the courthouse Tuesday, the baby's father Simon Boisclair left without speaking to reporters. The family said it is in a constant state of anxiety after the incident, feeling on edge even when the doorbell rings.