A South Auckland beneficiary who kidnapped a sleeping 8-week-old baby has been sentenced to four-and-half months' home detention.
Tequila Caroline Matekohi-Samuels, 18, who lost her bid for permanent name suppression, was sentenced on one charge of kidnapping and four separate charges of dishonestly using a computer when she appeared in the Hamilton District Court late this morning.
The infant was sleeping in the bedroom while his parents were watching television in the lounge of their Hamilton flat on October 31 last year when he was taken from his cot by the woman about 12.30pm.
The flat and surrounding area was searched by police before he was safely delivered to Hamilton central police station by a woman known to the offender.
The court heard the woman had earlier lost her baby but carried on a ruse that she was pregnant and told family that she was going to Hamilton to be induced.
Instead, she went to the house of her friends, the baby's parents, where she was allowed to hold the baby.
However, she ended up taking off with the baby to another friend's house. She ended up having to leave the baby there to get supplies.
The friend was suspicious that the baby was even hers and then heard reports of a missing baby.
The friend then delivered the baby to police.
Judge Smith said it was a frightening time for the baby's family.
She said the was "young, confused and got yourself into a web of deceit and lies and untruths and didn't know how to get yourself out".
As for the fraud, Judge Smith described her actions as "completely selfish" after selling fake items on social media.
Matekohi-Samuels was also sentenced to 150 hours' community work for the fraud.