A rare murder charge

Most parents who get charged with the death of a baby get a lesser charge than murder – and often for good reason. However in this case, it appears the correct charge has been applied:

After leaving her baby to drown during bath-time, a mother wrapped his lifeless body in blankets and logged on to her Facebook page, a court was told.

She spent the next half hour checking out friends’ pages and catching up on news on the Fiji Times website before telling her husband the baby was dead, the Crown alleges.

The 29-year-old Auckland woman, who has interim name suppression, is charged with murdering her 13-month-old son on November 8 last year.

Can you imagine the Facebook status update?

“She could not cope with both of her children and saw no other way to cope with the problem than by his death.”

The woman had been in an abusive relationship with the baby’s father and in early 2009 had been staying at a Women’s Refuge with her children. The case managers at the refuge became concerned with the woman’s mental health, noting she seemed “obsessed with her husband and not able to cope with her children”, Ms Reed said.

The two children were taken into the care of Child, Youth and Family, and had been returned to the woman’s care only two days before Baby A’s death.

CYF have a very tough job to do. I am sure in hindsight, they regret letting her have the children back. Hopefully there will be a separate investigation into the robustness of that decision.

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