Saskatchewan's top court has reserved its decision in the case of a woman who left her baby for dead in a Wal-Mart bathroom.
April Halkett was found not guilty last year of abandoning her newborn son in a toilet shortly after giving birth in Prince Albert in 2007.
During her trial, Halkett testified that she did not realize she was pregnant when she went to use the store's washroom during a shopping trip.
She said the birth happened very quickly and that the child did not look like he was alive.
In a police interview Halkett said that after giving birth she was scared, she washed the blood off her hands and ran out of the washroom.
'You have a legal duty to provide the necessities of life.' —Dean Sinclair
The baby was found by Walmart staff, alive, in the toilet.
Prosecutor Dean Sinclair said Halkett may have honestly thought the baby was dead but the Crown appealed the acquittal since the mother didn't properly check to see if the infant was alive.
"That wasn't a reasonable belief, and it could not be reasonable unless she made some effort to provide the necessities of life, which she's under a duty to do," said Sinclair. "It's our submission that if you have a legal duty to provide the necessities of life, you can't avoid that duty by saying 'I didn't think I needed to.'"
The baby was eventually rescued by the manager of the store — and survived. Halkett's lawyer Fran Atkinson said the original ruling should be upheld and that what Halkett did may not be morally sound in some people's eyes — but it was not criminal.
"They're saying that it should be a modified objective test which means it looks at the reasonable person in similar circumstances," said Atkinson. "Whereas we're saying it's the subjective test: what happened to her in that situation."
Saskatchewan's Court of Appeal heard the arguments Wednesday but reserved decision on the case until a later date.