Northern Ireland

Belfast Crown Court told details of mother's admission to killing her child

Laganside Courthouse

A court has heard details about a case of infanticide in which a mother-of-two killed her youngest son because she feared she had given him "bad genes".

The 32-year-old woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, telephoned 999 on the morning of 9 April 2014 to say she had killed her five-month-old baby.

Police and paramedics took the child to Royal Victoria Hospital. He died four weeks later.

The woman will appear again for sentencing at a later date.

The court also heard that the woman felt that she had no other option but to kill her five-month old and possibly herself as well as her other son.

The woman, who was said to be suffering from psychotic episodes, was originally charged with murder.

'Depressive episode'

However, a prosecuting solicitor said that medical and legal experts agreed that the appropriate charge was the lesser charge of infanticide.

The prosecutor added that it was also accepted in such cases that the appropriate sentence was probation, a community-based sentenced coupled with continued mental health treatment.

Her defence lawyer described the situation as "a very sad case in which a caring young mother was driven to do something unthinkable due to a depressive episode".

The judge said he wished to review the case before passing sentence.

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