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Ipswich: Man remembers heartbreak of finding dead baby girl in gutter

PUBLISHED: 17:43 13 November 2012

Stuart Lambert, age 14, at the site where he found a dead baby girl in Cemetery Lane, Ipswich in 1984.

Stuart Lambert, age 14, at the site where he found a dead baby girl in Cemetery Lane, Ipswich in 1984.

Archant

I JUST need some closure - says the man who found a dead baby in the street almost 30 years ago.

Those were the words of a man struggling to come to terms with the day in 1984 when he discovered a dead baby girl abandoned in a gutter.

Stuart Lambert was just 14 when he found the tiny tot in Cemetery Lane, Ipswich.

But nearly three decades on, he says he is still deeply troubled by the harrowing discovery.

Mr Lambert, now 42, of Tuddenham Avenue, still recalls the moment he found the new-born baby girl, who was wrapped in a black plastic bin liner.

He said: “I was cycling back from my grandma’s and I noticed a bag in the gutter.

“I looked at it but I didn’t really take any notice of it. Then I thought about it overnight and I thought I’d go back and check.

“I went back up with a friend and we got a stick and poked at the bag and then I saw her.”

A post mortem examination revealed that the body was that of a full-term baby girl who had been dead for around 14 days before she was found, on January 7, 1984.

The baby was placed in a grave at Ipswich cemetery, marked only with a number.

Canon Tony Jones, then rural Dean of Ipswich, conducted a service for the girl, who he named Catherine. A group of five strangers, all touched by the girl’s story, also gathered to pay their respects at the graveside.

Mr Lambert has suffered with mental health problems since, and would like the mother of the child to finally come forward so he can lay the disturbing experience to rest.

“I’d just like some closure to it. It’s affected me and my family, because I’ve been diagnosed with mental health problems and the doctors believe it’s because of that incident.

“It obviously affected her, but it’s affected me as well and it’s just been forgotten about.”

Mr Lambert said he would like to find out the circumstances that led the mother to abandon the baby.

“At the time, you think how could someone do that, but she might have had a lot of problems,” he said. “I’d just ask her why she felt the need to put her there and ask her what she was going through.”

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