A 17-year-old girl has admitted pouring bleach into the mouth of her newborn baby just moments after giving birth.
It has been reported the girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, kept the pregnancy from her parents and gave birth unaided in the bathroom of her family’s west London home on August 10 last year.
Within “minutes or even moments”, she poured bleach into the child’s mouth, prosecutor Edward Brown QC told the Old Bailey.
Her baby was left with a badly scalded mouth and lips by the toxic chemicals but survived following hospital treatment.
The girl was charged with child cruelty.
17-year-old girl poured bleach into her newborn baby’s mouth after giving birth in secret https://t.co/3BZOjE29wp
— Mark Chandler (@Mark_Chandler) January 12, 2016
Mr Brown said the decision was based on two psychiatric reports and consideration of the defendant’s young age and background.
The defendant had told Dr Philip Joseph that she was in a “state of shock and panic” following the birth of the baby and poured “a small amount” of bleach into his mouth.
Dr Joseph wrote: “On that basis I conclude that even if she was suffering from an acute stress reaction, it was not of such severity that she was legally insane at the material time.
“Within a few seconds of applying the bleach the defendant states that she realised what she had done and tried to wipe it away.
“Shortly afterwards her aunt came into the bathroom and the defendant does not know what she would have done if her aunt had not come in.
“Although I suggested to the defendant that at the time she applied the bleach to the baby, she was intending to kill it in order to dispose of it, she rejected that suggestion.”
The psychiatrist found that she may had been in a “daze” or suffering an acute stress reaction, casting doubt on the intent required for attempted murder.
A second specialist, Dr Alison Wenzerul, found the defendant was in a state of “acute distress” and was “unlikely to have been in a state of mind to clearly consider what she was doing to the baby”.
Mr Brown said: “Where the defendant accepts putting a drop of bleach on the baby’s mouth, the Crown do not accept that element of the case.
“The medical evidence is that over, albeit a very small bodily area, the extent of the damage to the mouth and lips indicated it must have been more than a drop.
“However we also acknowledge there was no damage to the throat area of the child which tends to suggest it cannot have been very much bleach.”
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