Nelson mother accused of illegally burying stillborn appeals to Home Office not to deport her husband

Salha Baruti Navarro (right) with her husband Anthony Navarro and their son, Ibrahim.
Salha Baruti Navarro (right) with her husband Anthony Navarro and their son, Ibrahim.
Share this article

A woman arrested on suspicion of concealing an infant death is appealing for donations to help fund her application to the home office to allow her American husband to remain in the country.

Herself a British citizen, Salha Baruti Navarro (33) has been married to Anthony Navarro for almost ten years, with the couple living in Nelson with their two-year-old son Ibrahim. Keen to prevent her husband's deportation, Mrs Baruti Navarro is appealing for help in raising the necessary finances for a legal case, and also has concerns that the ongoing police investigation will result in the application being rejected.

The Navarros were arrested on October 9th on suspicion of concealing infant death after police were informed by a health visitor who claimed that Mrs Baruti Navarro had given birth to a stillborn girl at 34 weeks and had buried the body. The investigation is ongoing.

Despite the police's actions, Mrs Baruti Navarro - who is of Tanzanian heritage - claims that she gave birth at 22 weeks in July in the bathtub. According to the NHS, there is "no provision to allow the registration of stillbirths before the 24th week of pregnancy," but that "when a baby is stillborn after 24 weeks pregnancy, the stillbirth must be registered in the stillbirth register."

A police statement said: "We were called around 2pm on October 9th to reports of a sudden death in Spring Street, Nelson. Officers attended the address following a report a woman had given birth to a baby which later died.

"The body of a baby girl was later found buried nearby," the statement continued. "A 34-year-old man from Nelson was arrested on suspicion of concealing an infant death close to birth and assisting an offender. A 33-year-old woman from Nelson was arrested on suspicion of concealing an infant death close to birth.

"Both were released under investigation pending further enquiries."

The Navarros - who have lived in London, Tanzania, and Egypt teaching English and who have previously tried to move to America only for Mrs Baruti Navarro to have her visa application rejected twice - have experienced pregnancies issues in the past, with the couple suffering two stillborn births and the death of a premature baby in the first five years of marriage.

Mrs Baruti Navarro has Fibroids - abnormal growths that can become quite large and cause severe abdominal pain and heavy periods - on the uterus and claims she only managed to give birth to Ibrahim after visiting a spiritual healer in Cyprus.

"God blessed us with another baby boy," Mrs Baruti Navarro said. "He is our best friend and we cherish him and everyday together is a blessing. He is our only living child out of 7 pregnancies.

"[My husband] is liable to be removed from the UK unless we can prove he has good reason to remain here," she added. "He does! He has a family that he wants to provide for and take care of. We do not know where to turn.

"He is an amazing man, an exemplary member of our community; he is our entire life, our backbone, and our most loyal and trusted friend," Mrs Baruti Navarro said of her husband. "He is a faithful, God-fearing man and the man with the most integrity anyone will ever meet. But it isn't enough in our society! Tearing our family apart would be devastating."

Having raised £350 so far, the couple are asking for donations to help with their £3,500 legal fees and have set up a JustGiving page explaining their story. To make a donation, go to https://www.gofundme.com/x858xg-help-keep-our-family-together.

"Please look inside your hearts and give anything you can; even a good thought or a prayer!" said Mrs Baruti Navarro. "We love this man and can't afford to lose him. Please, your donations make every little bit of difference for us."