Mother is jailed for putting baby in bin: Child found wrapped in plastic bag

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The Independent Online
A 'COLD, calculating and dangerous' mother who tied her screaming baby inside a plastic bag and then left her in a dustbin to die because she wanted 'peace and quiet' was yesterday jailed for two years.

The four-month-old girl survived only because a neighbour heard 'groans' coming from a communal rubbish area and went to investigate.

Despite being dropped into the 5ft 6in deep bin in June last year, the baby escaped with just a bump on her head.

At her trial last month, when the jury convicted her of wilful abandonment, a psychiatrist described the 23-year-old single woman as 'very intelligent'.

Yesterday, at Inner London Crown Court, Judge Robert Prendergast said: 'Having seen you and heard you give evidence I wholeheartedly agree, and I would add cold, calculating, determined, very manipulative and dangerous.'

He told her that after wrapping her daughter in a pink sheet covering her 'whole body, head, face and mouth, you put her in a large supermarket bag and tied a knot in the top, thereby sealing it.

'You abandoned your child to her fate in the rubbish bin with no respect for someone else's life, simply because at the time it suited you best to do so,' he said. 'I am of the opinion that this offence is so serious that only a custodial sentence can be justified'.

The court was told that after leaving her home in a block of flats in Charlton, south-east London, the mother stood on tiptoe and pushed the bundle containing her baby into the almost full bin which was due to be emptied the next day.

After returning to her home she rang her boyfriend and claimed her daughter had been abducted. He told her to call the police.

At about the same time as the police arrived, a neighbour on his way back from work 'quite by chance' heard 'groaning and whimpering' from the bin, and within minutes had rescued the child.

The judge said the woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, stuck to her abduction story for several days until finally confessing to police that she had tried to kill the baby.

She told officers: 'I can't bring myself to say it. I put her in the bin and ran.'

She said the child had been crying incessantly and that she needed 'peace and quiet'.

'Everything was getting on top of me. I was being pushed over the edge.'

The woman, who also has a six-year-old son, showed no reaction as sentence was passed.