A mother who had concealed her pregnancy from her family and friends has been convicted of murdering her newborn child in the United Kingdom.
The details of the murder are gory—the infant was found wrapped in three plastic bags, had multiple skull fractures, bruises, and cuts on her body. She was still alive when the convict left her on unused land near her home.
According to a BBC report, 29-year-old Hannah Cobley from Stoney Stanton in Leicestershire got pregnant from a one-night stand and concealed it from everyone out of shame.
Hannah Cobley: Mum guilty of murdering newborn baby https://t.co/x1mr8zdGqx
— BBC News England (@BBCEngland) June 6, 2019
“I thought she’d be ashamed of me,” Cobley said when asked why she didn’t share about her pregnancy with her mother.
The child was born at 32 weeks in a toilet, according to the BBC. The mother inflicted head injury to the infant, stuffed something in her throat to quiet her, and wrapped her in plastic bags while she was still alive.
After the child’s death, Cobley started to bleed heavily during a holiday at Skegness. She collapsed and was taken to a hospital following which the truth came out.
Cobley had told the court that her daughter was stillborn and that the injuries happened when she fell in the toilet during birth, reported the Leicester Mercury. However, the evidence indicated otherwise.
— Leicester Updates (@Leicupdates) June 6, 2019
“Cobley could have sought help from her own family or professionals, but instead took actions into her own hands. This decision meant a newborn baby girl was denied her life,” said Senior investigating officer Detective Inspector Jon Blockley, according to ITV News.
Media reports that the prosecution’s case against Cobley was so strong that it took them just one hour and forty minutes to decide on a guilty verdict.
“She said she did not kill the baby. She herself was a mother. She wouldn’t hurt a fly,” said Justice Susan Carr while summing up the case.
“She maintained she did not know the baby was alive.”
Various experts were consulted by the prosecution who helped the court to come to a conclusion.
Dr. Grenville Fox, a consultant neonatologist at St Thomas’ Hospital, in London told the court that the child was born alive because the air was present in her lungs.
“These injuries are among the most severe I have ever seen in a new-born infant,” Professor Safa Al-Sarraj, a consultant neuropathologist, told the prosecution.
Cobley will be sentenced to life imprisonment on Friday. “A very distressing case on many levels,” said Carr.
Newborns Killed by Mothers
Psychologists call such deaths neonaticide and differentiate them from infanticide.
This article makes really good points about women’s reproductive health, behavioral health and the impact of trauma… I hope people can read this with a sympathetic mind :: What Is Causing Some Women to Kill Their Newborns? | Dame Magazine https://t.co/2nNVeU4R9K
— Alejandra Diaz (@AlejandraDNY) January 8, 2019
Michelle Oberman, professor of Law at Santa Clara University, and a scholar on the topic of maternal filicide told Dame that such women live in pervasive denial.
“The uncertainty and isolation they feel leads these young women to dissociate from their changing bodies, living day to day, making no plans for the inevitable labor and delivery of their baby,” she said.