Mother smothers seven-week-old baby after drinking half a bottle of vodka and passing out on the couch
Stacey Atkinson, 30, was spared jail after she pleaded guilty to wilfully neglecting her child Chloe Atkinson Wilkie by causing unnecessary suffering and injury
A 30-year-old mother who allegedly smothered her seven-week-old baby to death after she passed out on the couch drunk while holding the baby was spared jail by a judge.
The mother Stacey Atkinson reportedly passed out with her daughter Chloe on her chest after she drank half a bottle of vodka. While asleep, she rolled over the baby and woke up three hours later to find that the baby was lifeless. She claimed to have attempted to revive the baby as she waited for the paramedics to arrive. While in a Liverpool Crown Court, Stacey was seen weeping and trembling as the gruesome details of the child's death were read out loud.
As reported by DailyMail, the judge told Stacey that he had "no doubt" that she was remorseful for her actions and that she had "learned from her bitter experience". The judge gave her a 12-month suspended sentence. Her lawyer Laura Tipping said, "She will carry the guilt for the rest of her life that Chloe trusted her and she let her down".
Tipping urged and pleaded with the judge to not send her to jail and said, "She will serve her own life sentence whatever the court does today. Her grief is palpable in communications I have had with her".
Stacey pleaded guilty to wilfully neglecting her child Chloe Atkinson Wilkie by causing unnecessary suffering and injury to health. The Crown Court was also made aware that the unfortunate and tragic incident took place on November 17 in the year 2016 and that, since then, Stacey has given birth to another daughter.
The prosecutor Phil Astbury shared that the defendant had called the emergency services at around 6.23 am to her home which is located in St. Helens, Merseyside. Stacey had narrated how she had passed out on the settee late night and had woken up to find her daughter unresponsive. She had become hysterical and called out to her partner who was asleep upstairs before calling an ambulance.
Paramedics did all they could to revive the baby but little Chloe was pronounced dead at 7.15 am. Stacey told the court that she had five drinks the previous evening. Astbury said, "The officers described her as utterly distraught and apparently in shock". A blood sample taken from Stacey revealed that she would have been two and a half times the drink driving limit around 3 am.
During an interview a month after the incident, Stacey revealed that she normally did not sleep on the couch with Chloe but that night she had to make an exception as the baby was restless. Stacey had not had much sleep the previous night and had also drunk half a bottle of vodka. Her lawyer, Laura Tipping said, "The defendant is truly remorseful, having learned through bitter experience".
A probation report showed that Stacey was not a risk to her other three daughters and they are under her care. Stacey suffers from mental health problems such as depression, anxiety, personality disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Ever since Chloe's death, Stacey also suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder.
Judge Andrew Menary told Stacey, "The fact you were incapable or less capable of looking after your child as a consequence of drink is a seriously aggravating factor". He also shared that he had no doubt "part of the cause of the tragedy was her extreme tiredness due to the normal demanding nature of caring for a small baby".
"I have no doubt you're truly remorseful for what you have done and have learned from this bitter experience. At the time you had two older children — since these tragic events, you and your partner have been blessed with a new daughter. The authorities have investigated this matter and are perfectly satisfied that you and your partner in all other respects are loving, caring and perfectly capable parents".
"They have no concerns about the welfare of the children or your ability to provide love, care, support and nurturing for them as you no doubt you would have loved to have done for Chloe," the judge concluded.