Leicester

Hannah Cobley: Mum guilty of murdering newborn baby

Hannah Cobley Image copyright Leicestershire Police
Image caption Hannah Cobley claimed the baby had been stillborn

A woman who silenced her newborn baby by forcing something down her throat before leaving her to die, has been found guilty of her murder.

Hannah Cobley, 29, left the child wrapped in plastic bags in an overgrown area at the Leicestershire farm where she lived with her parents.

She later searched the internet to find out how long a newborn could "survive without being fed", her trial heard.

The jury at Leicester Crown Court took two hours to reach a verdict.

The 29-year-old, whose father owns a transport business and also keeps livestock on the farm in Stoney Stanton, denied murdering the child in the early hours of 26 April 2017.

Post-mortem examinations revealed the baby had suffered three skull fractures and survived her injuries for two hours before dying, the court had heard.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Cobley's family and friends were not aware of the pregnancy

Cobley, who worked as a driver for her father's firm, claimed the baby had been stillborn.

The prosecution had said the identity of the father was unknown but that the pregnancy resulted from a consensual one-night stand.

Cobley's family and friends were not aware of the pregnancy, the judge was told.

Following the baby's death, Cobley began bleeding heavily while on holiday in Skegness.

She later collapsed and was taken to Leicester Royal Infirmary.

Image caption Cobley will be sentenced at Leicester Crown Court on Friday

When asked by police why she had not told her mother what had happened, she said: "I thought she'd be ashamed of me."

Cobley's father Peter told police that when he asked his daughter what had happened, she told him "there was a baby" and she "put it in a bag".

He said she told him it "wasn't alive or anything", and that he did his "fatherly bit" by consoling her.

Justice Susan Carr told the jurors it had been "a very distressing case on many levels" and excused them from further jury service for the next 10 years.

Sentencing is due to take place on Friday.

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