Woman pleads guilty to abduction of Ottawa newborn on Mother's Day
OTTAWA -- A Shawville, Que. woman has pleaded guilty to several charges including abducting an eight-day-old newborn in Ottawa on Mother's Day.
Nicole Shanks entered the plea in court Friday afternoon. She appeared virtually from Quinte, Ont.
Shanks pleaded guilty to abduction, assault with a weapon, possession of a weapon, criminal harassment and assault.
The baby was not injured during the incident.
A date for sentencing is expected to be set in January.
According to an agreed statement of facts read in court, it was in May 2021 when Shanks befriended the baby's mother on a Facebook group for new moms. They met on May 7 where Shanks gave the woman baby clothes and a Wal-Mart gift card.
Shanks told the new mom she was pregnant and was going to have a C-section as the new mom had, the court heard.
Shanks later messaged the new mother again saying she worked at the courthouse as a social worker and had put her name down for a Mother's Day basket and hot breakfast delivery that would be delivered on May 9.
The agreed statement of facts states Shanks then sent the mother a message saying the delivery company has messed up and that Shanks herself showed up at the house "pretending to be the delivery company."
"She knocked on [the mother's] door and had a McDonald's bag in her hand saying that there was a mix up and she had the wrong breakfast for [the mother] and they left. [The mother] was messaging with the accused before and after this delivery person was at her door and it was only at this time that [she] started to feel like something was not right with what was taking place….[the mother] was sure that the delivery person that was just at her house was the accused but at the time was confused as to why she would pretend to be the delivery person."
Later, the court heard, Shanks texted the victim to say she'd be bringing the breakfast and when she arrived, she sprayed the victim in the face and body with bear spray, making it difficult for her to see.
"Then the accused stated. 'I need to take him,'" the crown attorney read in court. "[The mother] was panicking, her eyes were burning and she couldn't see. [She] tried to get the accused out of her home but couldn't."
The mother ran outside, yelling for help and Shanks ran out of the house with the baby.
A nearby neighbour chased Shanks and intervened. Court documents state Shanks punched him in the face.
Shanks was arrested by police shortly after.
The agreed statement of facts also stated that "neighbours reported that the accused had been seen walking around [the mother's] home over the past few days watching the house. She was looking in her windows and walking around the front and back of the house."
Shanks also pleaded guilty Friday to a number of other outstanding charges including theft and failing to appear in court.