Psychotic mother kills her baby

July 19th, 2011 - 9:32 pm ICT by IANS  

London, July 19 (IANS) A mother in Britain killed her two-year-old baby just hours after psychiatric nurses decided it was safe to leave the child with her, a court heard.

Health visitors and nurses had visited Sonia Bellfield, who has a history of mental illness, and her daughter, Jasmine, barely two days before the tragedy, the Daily Mail reported Tuesday.

Though alarmed by her mental state, they failed to find it as an ‘emergency’ requiring immediate intervention. The day after the second visit, however, they changed their minds.

But when a seven-strong crisis team of social workers, psychiatrists and police officers knocked on Bellfield’s door, they found she had smothered her baby. She also tried to kill herself with a kitchen knife.

Bellfield, 31, had been suffering from paranoid schizophrenia, attributed to cannabis, which she started using in childhood.

Bellfield denied murder, but the Crown accepted a plea of guilty to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility at Leeds Crown Court Monday.

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