Mother acquitted of bid to kill child

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A 35-year-old woman has been cleared of attempting to kill her severely-ill baby daughter by deliberately switching off a hospital oxygen supply, following a High Court hearing.

Social workers had started care proceedings after an incident on a hospital ward about six months ago.

And had they asked a judge to decide whether the woman was guilty of attempted filicide at a hearing in the Family Division of the High Court in London.

Mr Justice Mostyn yesterday said he was not satisfied – on the balance of probabilities – that the woman had tried to kill the girl.

“It was suggested that the mother had been exhausted by a second night of broken sleep and did this act out of love to relieve (her daughter) of her suffering,” said Mr Justice Mostyn.

“Having weighed all the evidence very clearly I concluded on the balance of probabilities that if the supply was turned off the mother did not do it.”

He said a student nurse had checked the baby’s oxygen supply and it was “distinctly possible” that she had “neglected” to turn a tap back on.

The judge said police had earlier investigated and prosecutors had decided against bringing charges against the baby’s mother.

He said he made his decision after hearing evidence from police, nursing staff, a specialist, the mother and the little girl’s father.