Mother drowned girl, four, because she was disabled

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The Independent Online

A mother who was embarrassed and could not cope with her four-year-old daughter's mild cerebral palsy drowned her in the bath before downing bottles of wine, a court heard today.

Joanne Hill, 32, wanted to have Naomi adopted but her husband Simon would not allow it so she planned the murder, it is alleged.

Hill, who sold advertising space for a publishing company, killed her daughter on November 26 last year at the family home in Goya Close, Deeside, Chester Crown Court was told.

After drowning her she dressed Naomi - who wore callipers and struggled to hear - and drove around for eight hours before carrying her body into A&E, said prosecutor Michael Chambers QC.

He told the jury of seven men and five women that Hill - who had cheated on her husband days before the death - would tell Naomi off for soiling her pants during bouts of constipation.

He said: "The prosecution say she couldn't come to terms with the fact that Naomi was disabled, suffering from a mild form of cerebral palsy affecting her ability to walk.

"The defendant couldn't cope with caring for Naomi and left a lot of the every day care to her husband Simon - she even suggested to him that Naomi should be adopted.

"But he would never agree to that because he doted on her.

"Instead of seeking help from the social services she quite deliberately and consciously acted to kill Naomi.

"It was a determined plan.

"The prosecution say she wasn't suffering from depressive mental illness at the time.

"Extreme behaviour such as this doesn't automatically mean mental illness was the cause."

Mr Chambers added: "She quite simply wanted Naomi dead.

"We are reliant upon her for an explanation.

"She may not have given a full and truthful account to the police in interview.

"It is unclear whether she believed Naomi would be better off dead or if her motive was more selfish."

Mr Chambers said on the Monday Hill killed Naomi she was rational and entirely normal at work.

After leaving work in Chester she drove to collect her daughter from the child minder and visited shops, having normal conversations.

But he said Hill told police in a subsequent interview that during the day she was already considering killing her daughter.

He said: "She told police from that Monday she had thoughts of killing Naomi and also had suicidal thoughts," and considered both killings while driving to work.

Describing the killing, Mr Chambers said: "The defendant went upstairs to run the bath and came down for a glass of wine.

"When the bath was full she told Naomi she was having a bath, but Naomi didn't want one.

"The defendant carried her upstairs and undressed her.

"The defendant put her in the bath and drowned her by holding her head under the water for a long time until she was dead.

"She wanted to leave the house before Simon returned."