Mother guilty of Aldershot park baby infanticide

  • Published
Manor Park, Aldershot
Image caption,
The newborn baby's body was found in Manor Park, Aldershot

A woman has been found guilty of the infanticide of her newborn baby who was found dead in a park.

Care home worker Babita Rai, 24, gave birth at night under a tree in Aldershot, Hampshire, in May 2017, Winchester Crown Court heard.

The baby girl suffered skull fractures and blunt force injuries within hours of her birth, prosecutors said.

The defendant, of Reeves Road, who was found not guilty of murder, will be sentenced on 19 July.

Image caption,
A memorial service for the infant was held at the park gates

Ms Rai was pregnant when she came to the UK from Nepal in February 2017 to join relatives, the court previously heard.

The child - named "Baby M" by police - was born some time between 15 and 16 May, the jury was told.

Her body was found by council workers on 19 May in undergrowth in Manor Park.

Image source, Crimestoppers
Image caption,
Floral tributes were left at the scene

Adam Feest QC, prosecuting, previously said the baby's DNA matched a "contact stain" on a spike on the park's railings.

He said the infant's injuries were "deliberately inflicted", either by Ms Rai alone or by her acting together with someone else.

Michael Turner QC, defending, told the jury at the start of the trial the case was "dreadfully sad".

He added: "A lack of memory goes hand in hand with someone whose balance of mind was disturbed at the time of birth."

In 2019, the Crimestoppers charity offered a £10,000 reward for information leading to a conviction in the case.

The Infanticide Act 1938 defines the offence as an alternative to murder, when a mother kills her infant while the balance of her mind is disturbed as a result of the birth.

Adjourning sentencing, the judge, Mr Justice Johnson, said: "In most cases a non-custodial penalty is imposed."

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