Mum who tried to suffocate three-month old son 14 times spared jail

A mum tried to suffocate her own three-month-old son 14 times, a court has heard, the nurse thought he was dead.

The sustained child cruelty took place over the course of three weeks whilst he was at a high intensity unit in Swansea, Wales.

There were 14 incidents which took place in the hospital over a one month period.

The mum, who cannot be named for legal reasons as it would identify the child victim, “willfully smothered her son to the point he lost consciousness, stopped breathing and needed to be resuscitated”, prosecutor Caroline Rees said.

She deliberately lied to medical staff and tried to lie to them about what caused the episodes.

The first incident saw the mum report how her child had stopped breathing, and an ambulance took him to hospital.

He was later observed by a doctor to be blue in colour, and had a glazed stare on his face, but returned to normal after 10 minutes.

He was put in a high dependency unit and was subject to several examinations, which wasn’t necessary because he wouldn’t have needed them if the mother didn’t try to stop his breathing.

multiple incidents transpired over the course of a month where the mum would smother her child, then call for help, the court heard.

There was one occasion where a nurse was convinced the child was dead and said she had “never witnessed” something like that before.

The defendant, who had been alone with her child during the incidents, said to a nurse: “I can’t see him making the new year.”

On other occasions, he was observed to be pale, with shallow breathing, and had been seen to be “blue and floppy”.

She even asked a nurse: “How long would it take for his heart to stop?”

The final incident was the only incident where she was witnessed first hand carrying out the act, the court heard.

She was seen walking towards his cot, leaning over him, and putting her hands over his face suffocating him.

A nurse rushed over and observed he had lost colour, and the mum responded: “Oh, has he?”.

She tried to make her excuses and leave the hospital but she was discouraged from doing so.

Police were called and arrested the mum, and she told them: “I would never hurt my baby.”

The mother’s lawyer claimed that she suffered mental health, and wanted to keep him on a high dependency ward where he was monitored and kept safe from harm.

“At the root of her offending seems to be her suffering from post natal depression. It’s quite clear she became paranoid over her kid after he became ill in her care.”

Judge said: “People will be appalled by the deliberate harm you caused to a defenceless child.

“At the same time I must acknowledge that you were suffering psychological and emotional distress.

The mum wept in the dock as she was given a two-year jail sentence, suspended for two years.

She was also sentenced to a rehabilitation activity requirement.

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Written by

Samantha Day