Teenage mother, 16, whose baby boy died after she ‘left him in the winter cold without clothes on’ is cleared of infanticide after the case was thrown out due to lack of evidence
- Defence Barrister, Stephen Nelson, said in his 46 years of practicising law he has ‘never seen a case like it’
A teenage girl accused of infanticide after her baby boy died has had her case thrown out due to insufficient evidence.
The 16-year-old girl, who cannot be named because of her age, pleaded not guilty to infanticide at the Old Bailey on Thursday, December 7.
The child died on January, 29, 2022 in New Eltham, south East London, after she allegedly took him outside and left him in the winter cold without clothes on.
She got pregnant at 14 years old and had the baby at 15, and the court heard the infant allegedly died ‘at a time when her [the defendant’s] mind was unstable, having not fully recovered from the birth of her child.’
The 16-year-old girl, who cannot be named because of her age, pleaded not guilty to infanticide at the Old Bailey on Thursday, December 7
After two years, the prosecution decided it is no longer in the public interest to take the child’s case to trial because she is now well supported by her family and has fully engaged with youth offending services since the incident.
Judge Richard Marks KC said: ‘This has been a difficult and very unhappy and stressful challenge in [the young girl’s] life.
‘I’m sure that with support and her family in particular that she will be able to put all this behind her, I have much hope that this is the case.’
Her defence barrister Stephen Nelson said in his 46 years of practising law he has ‘never dealt with a case like it’.
Mr Nelson told the court that had her aunt, who sat with her on video link, been supporting the child at the time, then the incident may never have happened.
Speaking outside the court, the defence barrister said the family had a shrine to the baby.
He said: ‘I have never in my career in law, which dates back to 1976, I have never dealt with a case like this.
‘I have never seen a case of infanticide and it has been a very difficult case.
‘I have no criticism of the prosecution, either in the decision they took initially to prosecution and the decision to offer no evidence.
‘One thing the public should really understand is that this was a young lady who was in deep distress.
‘She was in enormous pain, she had lost a lot of blood. You have also got to remember that she fell pregnant when she was 14, the birth was just after her 15th birthday, and it was plain that she was not thinking as an adult would do, or as you would in your rational mind.
‘She has levels of distress when thinking about this, but she’s getting what [support] she needs.
‘She named the baby and they have [a] shrine of the baby and various other mementoes as well.’
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