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An Adelaide woman who fatally shook her infant son to death had a ‘momentary lapse’ in judgement according to her lawyer.

Jennifer Nicole Kennison, 31, yesterday appeared in the South Australian Supreme Court after last year pleading guilty to one count of manslaughter over the January 2016 death of her baby boy, reports 9 news.

She had been delaying her court proceedings so she could be psychologically assessed to determine if she was of sound mind when she shook her three-month old baby Enzo to death at their Evanston South home.

A doctor’s report tabled in court revealed Kennison had no cognitive difficulties, no signs of post natal depression or drug abuse, no contact with child protection agencies, and no clear explanation as to why she shook her newborn so vigorously that he suffered a severe brain injury and 16 rib fractures.

Her lawyer, Justin Wickens, told the court Kennison’s actions were the result of a momentary lapse of judgment after she became frustrated with the unsettled baby.

“There is nothing else to suggest that this is a bad parent,” he said. “She is not charged with intentionally killing the child.”

“She is also a victim of her own offending .. she’s lost her child and that’s something she’ll carry for the rest of her life.”

The prosecutor argued, “Whilst the defendant called triple zero and she herself administered first aid, she did not provide an accurate history of events to any person who was rendering medical assistance on that day,” Ms Emma Wildman told the court.

Ms Wildman said Kennison’s actions were not consistent with a mother who had a momentary lapse, instead suggesting she knew she had done something wrong and tried to protect herself from an early stage.

Justice David Lovell continued Kennison’s bail ahead of her sentencing in April.

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  • What a terrible outcome. It’s not normal the way she reacted to such a moment. Poor baby.

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  • Hmm, so she had no cognitive difficulties, no signs of post natal depression or drug abuse, no contact with child protection agencies, and no clear explanation as to why she shook her newborn so vigorously that he suffered a severe brain injury and 16 rib fractures. Brain injury and 16 rib fractures !! Yes, we all can get frustrated, but we also all know how vulnerable a baby is and that the fontanelle and sutures are still open…

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  • Such a tragedy! To quote Ms Wildmann though : “Kennison’s actions were not consistent with a mother who had a momentary lapse, instead suggesting she knew she had done something wrong and tried to protect herself from an early stage” ……. I hope the truth comes out. RIP little angel!

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  • I think we all know those moments of frustration – but how awful to do this.

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