Mother jailed after falling asleep on baby son during drunken caravan night

A mother has been jailed for two years and four months after her four-week old baby died after taking him to a nightclub and then drunkenly falling asleep on top of him in bed.

Marina Tilby, 26, was seen repeatedly throwing and catching her son Darian Tilby while clubbing with her sister before taking him back to a caravan with two men she had met that night.

On Friday, a judge branded the incident a “dreadful case of maternal selfishness” and criticised the mother for the “deliberate neglect” of her child.

Swansea Crown Court heard the baby boy was found unresponsive with blood in his mouth lying next to Tilby in the early hours of March 31, 2017, after her alcohol-fuelled night in New Quay, Ceredigion, Mid Wales.

Tilby was so drunk she was unable to be roused from her sleep by her sister, who had also stayed at the caravan, for one hour and 15 minutes while baby Darian was taken to Bronglais hospital, where he later died.

Prosecutor Catherine Richards said Tilby had drunkenly fallen asleep on top of her child who then suffered a heart attack, but medical evidence could not prove her rolling on top of him contributed to his death or rule out he may have suffered sudden infant death syndrome.

Dyfed Thomas, defending, said the extent of Tilby’s guilty plea to the wilful neglect of her son was that “she was so intoxicated”.

Mr Thomas said: “She took a catastrophic set of actions in deciding to go out that night and continuing to drink.

“She wishes to express to the court, the baby’s father and her own family her own remorse and feeling of guilt from that night.

“Her grief will fill her for the absence of her child for the rest of her days.”

He said Tilby, who was not in a relationship with her baby’s father, had been diagnosed with depression since his death and had “clearly suffered”.

Judge Paul Thomas told Tilby she had “completely ignored” her duty to protect her son and said it would never be known if doctors would have been able to save him if she had raised the alarm sooner.

He also expressed his “unease” that it could not be proved what caused the baby’s death.

The judge said: “It is a mother’s responsibility, a mother’s duty, and her natural instinct to put the care and safety of her four-week old child above all else.

“You completely ignored that duty so you could get extremely drunk on a night-out.

“So drunk were you that you fell into a deep sleep and slept on top of your baby. There came a time when he was not moving. He had blood in his mouth, but you didn’t realise because you were so drunk.

“You showed deliberate disregard for the welfare of your son.”

Tilby, from Llwyncelyn in Aberaeron, Ceredigion, was sentenced to two years and four months in prison.

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