Supreme Court says new trial needed for woman who concealed dead baby after birth

CP/Adrian Wyld

OTTAWA – The Supreme Court of Canada has upheld an appeal court decision to order a new trial for a woman accused of concealing her dead baby in a bag.

Ivana Levkovic was accused under a section of the Criminal Code that prohibits the disposal of a child’s dead body with the intent to conceal the fact that it had been born.

Levkovic testified that she was alone in her Mississauga, Ont., apartment when she fell and had the baby, which was later determined to have been at or near full term.

She placed the body in a bag and put it out on her balcony, where a building superintendent later discovered it.

Her lawyers argued the law’s definition of “child” was too vague and did not provide enough clarity as to when a miscarriage becomes a stillbirth.

She was acquitted, but the Ontario Court of Appeal set aside that ruling and ordered a new trial, a decision upheld by the Supreme Court in a 7-0 decision.

Looking for more?

Get the Best of Maclean's sent straight to your inbox. Sign up for news, commentary and analysis.