Care home worker found guilty of infanticide of newborn daughter
A care home worker has been found guilty of the infanticide of her newborn daughter, who was found dead in a park.
Babita Rai, who is Nepalese, was cleared by a jury at Winchester Crown Court of murdering the child, who suffered injuries including multiple skull fractures and was believed to have lived for less than six hours.
Her body was discovered by a gardener in a park in Aldershot, Hampshire, several days later on May 19, 2017.
The prosecution told the jury that the fatal injuries to the baby, who was not given a name and was referred to by police as Baby M, were inflicted by Rai or by another unknown person acting “in concert” with her.
Michael Turner QC, defending the 24-year-old, told the jury the defendant’s mind might have been “disturbed” at the time of the birth.
He also questioned whether the injuries had been deliberately inflicted, suggesting they may have been sustained during the birth.
However, Adam Feest QC, prosecuting, told the trial the injuries were deliberately inflicted and could not have been caused accidentally during labour or by the baby falling on the floor.
The judge, Mr Justice Johnson, thanked the jury for the “care” they had taken deliberating the case, which he described as “distressing and of the utmost importance”.
He adjourned the case until July 19 for a report to be prepared on Rai, from Reeves Road, Aldershot, and remanded her in custody until then.
The judge said that although “all custody options” will be considered, “historically in most cases a non-custodial penalty is imposed”.
Infanticide is an offence where a mother is responsible for the death of her child aged under 12 months when “the balance of her mind was disturbed by reason of her not having fully recovered from the effect of giving birth to the child”.
Copyright (c) PA Media Ltd. 2021, All Rights Reserved. Picture (c) Wikipedia.