A woman who disguised herself as a hospital nurse and kidnapped a newborn from her mother’s room has been sentenced to10 years in prison.
Judge John Hlophe announced the sentence in South Africa Monday, nearly two decades after Zephany Nurse was abducted in Cape Town, the Associated Press reported.
The 19-year-old was reunited with her birth parents last year after befriending the couple’s second daughter in school. Classmates remarked about how the girls resembled each other and DNA tests later showed the two were sisters.
The pair grew up just a few streets apart from each other.
Morne and Celeste Nurse attended Monday’s hearing, but their daughter was not present. She has chosen to stay with her kidnapper’s husband and will keep the name he and his wife gave her.
The judge ordered that her name, as well as the kidnapper’s, not be used in media accounts to protect the young woman’s identity, the news agency reported.
Her birth parents said they never gave up hope of being reunited with their daughter and celebrated her birthday each year.
She was three days old when she was snatched from her sleeping mom’s bedside.
Her kidnapper registered the child as her own six years later under a fake birthdate, authorities said.
After her arrest, she told police she had purchased the baby from a woman at a railway station. The judge called that claim "a fairytale."