Unable to cope, mother kills baby in Australia

July 30th, 2010 - 2:26 pm ICT by IANS  

Sydney, July 30 (IANS) A newborn baby in Australia died of head injuries after his mother pushed him out of his cot because she found it “hard to cope” with very little money, a court was told.
The seven-week-old boy died at a hospital in Newcastle May 6, 2006, having suffered a fractured skull, the New South Wales Supreme Court was told.

Both parents - neither of whom were named - have been jailed after pleading guilty to the infant’s manslaughter, the Sydney Morning Herald reported Friday.

The couple were living near Inverell in New South Wales with their newborn son and a one-year-old daughter.

The woman, then aged 18, was finding it “hard to cope” with having very little money, the court heard. On the other hand, the man, 24, “spent a lot of time out in the shed smoking cannabis and down at the river fishing”.

On May 4, the woman was alone with her children and the baby was crying in his cot.

“She took hold of the bassinet and shook it. The baby continued to cry. She picked him up and then threw him back into the bassinet. He kept crying. She then pushed the bassinet with both hands, causing it to move across the floor and fall over. She then checked and found that he was badly hurt,” Supreme Court Justice Robert Allan Hulme said Thursday.

When the man returned home, he suggested that medical attention be sought, but the couple argued and the baby was left in his cot overnight.

The next day the baby’s body was found limp and his eyes were rolling back in their sockets. He stopped breathing as the couple drove him to hospital and died a day later.

An autopsy found the baby died from a fractured skull but that he was also “markedly malnourished” and had a number of other injuries including a broken wrist and ribs and cuts and bruises, consistent with “a pattern of child abuse”.

While the man was sentenced to five years and two months in prison, the woman was sentenced to at least two years and six months in jail.

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