Wales

Drunk mum Marina Tilby who fell asleep on baby freed from jail

New Quay beach in Ceredigion Image copyright Steve Fareham/Geograph
Image caption Marina Tilby had been staying at a caravan in the town of New Quay

A mother jailed over the death of her four-week-old baby after she fell asleep on top of him has been freed by Court of Appeal judges.

Marina Tilby was so intoxicated after a drinking binge it took over an hour for her to be woken up.

Her son Darrian was rushed to hospital in an effort to save his life, but he was later pronounced dead.

The 26-year-old, of Llwyncelyn in Aberaeron, was jailed for two years and four months in June.

Tilby previously admitted child cruelty through wilful neglect at Swansea Crown Court.

She was freed from prison on Tuesday after judges at the Court of Appeal reduced her sentence to 16 months and suspended it.

Mr Justice Fraser, sitting with Lord Justice Singh and Mrs Justice Thornton, told the court Tilby took Darrian with her when she went out drinking with her sister on 29 March 2017.

The pair drank Guinness in a pub before heading to the club house at Quay West caravan park in New Quay, Ceredigion at about 20:30.

Image caption The case was heard at the Court of Appeal in London

CCTV footage showed Tilby holding her son above her head and throwing him in the air before catching him.

The sisters met three men who were staying at the caravan park and went back to their caravan at the end of the evening.

"Manifestly excessive"

Tilby fed Darrian before putting him down on a double bed and then going to sleep next to him.

When her sister came to look for her a short while later she found Tilby lying on top of Darrian, who was unresponsive with blood on his nose.

Despite efforts to wake her, Tilby was unable to be woken up from her sleep for an hour and a quarter, while the baby was taken to hospital.

Medical evidence was unable to rule out the possibility Darrian's death was caused by sudden infant death syndrome before Tilby had rolled onto him.

Mr Justice Fraser said psychological reports made it clear that Darrian's death had a "significant impact" on Tilby's mental health.

Sentencing Tilby in June, Judge Paul Thomas told her she had shown "deliberate disregard" for her son's welfare.

But her barrister, Dyfed Thomas, argued at the appeal court her sentence was too long.

He said: "This young woman made a terrible, terrible mistake of becoming so drunk she couldn't respond to her child's needs."

Allowing her appeal, Mr Justice Fraser said the original sentence was "manifestly excessive" in light of her genuine remorse.

The court ordered Tilby to undergo supervision by the Probation Service for one year.

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