A mother, convicted of killing her newborn daughter hours after giving birth secretly, has reportedly been sentenced to 18 years in prison. The woman, identified as 29-year-old Hannah Cobley from Leicestershire, wrapped the premature infant in plastic bags and threw her in an undergrowth shortly after giving birth in an outdoor toilet.
Reports state that she became pregnant after a one-night stand with a stranger.
A court on Thursday heard that Cobley slammed the baby on the walls of the toilet and put an object in her throat before hiding her body. She reportedly went back to bed after leaving her to die, according to LeicestershireLive. Cobley went to trial at Leicester Crown Court last month.
A jury reportedly reached the decision after an hour and 40 minutes of deliberation, finding her guilty. The haulage firm worker was jailed for life with a minimum term of 18 years.
Justice Carr, while sentencing her on Friday afternoon, told the woman: "You may never be released," adding "I find without hesitation you intended to kill the baby. Your family would have welcomed this baby and supported you. It was a truly shocking crime.”
The mother reportedly left the infant's body next to a shed outside her parents' farmhouse in Stoney Stanton on April 30, 2017. A court on Friday heard how the child suffered a series of injuries including three skull fractures, a brain injury and bruising and cuts. An unidentified object was also forced down the child's throat after she was prematurely born at 32 weeks, according to reports.
Cobley, however, defended her actions, saying she had no idea she was pregnant and believed that her baby was stillborn. However, an examination of her mobile phone revealed that she had made multiple searches related to the baby like "how long a baby can survive without being fed" and "what happens when a newborn baby is dropped".
The incident came to light when Cobey fell ill three days after the incident and was taken to hospital. A medical examination there revealed that she had been pregnant. Cobley, however, continued to deny any knowledge of her pregnancy, forcing medical officials to contact police.
Officers conducted a search of her house, however, no child was found.
She later admitted to a relative that she had given birth to a baby in an outdoor toilet but claimed that the baby was stillborn so she wrapped her in a plastic bag and left it outside. However, tests conducted on the infant revealed that the child had been alive for at least two hours after the birth.
A spokesperson for the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children said: "This is a tragic case in which a mum has inflicted awful injuries on a newborn baby who was completely dependent on her care and protection. We all have a duty to look out for the welfare of children, so it is crucial that anyone concerned about a child speaks out. They can contact the NSPCC Helpline in confidence on 0808 800 5000.”