Mother who suffered from poor mental health admits smothering baby with pillow

A mother has admitted smothering her three-month-old daughter with a pillow after being diagnosed with “mild” post-natal depression.

Kamila Bogdan, 41, killed baby Julia at home in Croydon, south London, while her husband Piotr was out at work on March 2.

Afterwards, she told police she “smothered her” because she “didn’t want her to suffer any more”, the Old Bailey heard.

Weeks before the killing, Bogdan had taken an overdose and spent the night in hospital.

Prosecutor Crispin Aylett QC said Mr Bogdan was told by a doctor that his wife was suffering from “mild post-natal depression” and prescribed an anti-depressant.

On the day of the killing, Mr Bogdan rushed home from work fearing something was wrong and found Julia lifeless on the bed.

His wife told him, “Julia is dead – I might have killed her”, the court heard.

She told police that she had not been eating or sleeping and added: “I’m not able to look after her in the way a mother should.”

Bogdan denied murder but admitted an alternative charge of infanticide, which was accepted by the Crown.

In a statement, Mr Bogdan said he still loved his wife and did not blame her for the death of his baby daughter.

He described her as a “wonderful and loving mother” but said she had been diagnosed with depression in her native Poland before moving to the UK in 2016.

He said: “I wonder if this tragedy could have been avoided if, after Kamila’s overdose, there had been a different response from social services and medical professionals.”

Handing Bogdan a hospital order, Judge Sarah Munro QC said: “The tragic background to this case is that you have for many years suffered from poor mental health.

“Your husband described the impact of the loss of Julia on him and upon you. He rightly says that your lives changed forever. I accept you are both devastated at the loss of your little girl.

“It will be for others to decide whether this tragedy could have been avoided – if your recent overdose had been dealt with differently or for some other reasons.

“It is common ground between all psychiatrists that your conduct towards Julia was wholly down to your mental health.”

Copyright (c) PA Media Ltd. 2019, All Rights Reserved. Picture (c) Elizabeth Cook / PA Wire.

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