Soft toy murder mother facing jail

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The Independent Online

A mother who smothered her three-year-old daughter with the child's soft toy was facing life in jail today.

Helen Caudwell, 42, suffocated Bethany after leading a double life convincing two men they were both her daughter's father.



She had entered into a custody battle over Bethany with second husband Miles Kennerley just months after marrying him, Manchester Crown Court heard.



Caudwell had fallen pregnant with her fourth child, Bethany, during the course of her relationship with three men in 2005.



She denied murder and first told police she may have rolled over on to her daughter and suffocated the child.



Later Caudwell, who has three teenage children, offered a defence of diminished responsibility, claiming she suffered an "abnormality of the mind" at the time of the killing.



But she flinched and blinked hard as the jury foreman returned a guilty verdict by a majority of 10 to two following a nine-day trial.



Her relatives wept in the public gallery but Caudwell showed no emotion as the court heard she faced a mandatory life sentence.