POLITICS

Quebec woman accused in newborn kidnapping deemed fit to stand trial

06/05/2014 12:59 EDT | Updated 06/16/2017 01:01 EDT
TROIS-RIVIERES, Que. - A woman accused of kidnapping a newborn baby from a Quebec maternity ward has been declared fit to stand trial.

Valerie Poulin Collins will now head to a detention centre until her next court date on June 18.

A judge heard Thursday that a doctor has declared the 21-year-old fit after observing her over several days in hospital.

Police arrested Poulin Collins outside her home in Trois-Rivieres on May 26, about three hours after a woman posing as a nurse snatched a 16-hour-old infant from a local hospital.

The baby girl was returned to her parents unharmed.

Officers were able to find Poulin Collins with the help of locals who recognized her fom a surveillance video still sent out with an Amber Alert.

Poulin Collins faces two charges: one of kidnapping and one of abducting a person under 14 years old.

The abduction charge carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison while kidnapping draws a sentence ranging from five years to life.

Her lawyer, Karine Bussiere, suggested to the court that her client have access to mental-health specialists while detained.

"We have information (in the report) that led us to believe she had a problem at this level," Bussiere told reporters. "So I asked the judge to recommend that she has access to the appropriate services."