Grieving mum discharged without conviction

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Defence counsel Matthew Phelps said there was limited public interest in the woman being convicted. PHOTO/FILE
Defence counsel Matthew Phelps said there was limited public interest in the woman being convicted. PHOTO/FILE

A Hastings District Court judge yesterday decided there should be no further penalty against a young mum whose baby died in the bed they shared.

Now 21 and granted permanent name suppression, the woman was discharged without conviction on a charge of endangering the life of the boy who died in November 2014.

Judge Bridget Mackintosh described the case as "tragic".

The child had arrived in an unplanned pregnancy when the mother was 18 and in an abusive relationship, during which she was admitted to hospital and baby was induced and born prematurely.

She said the woman had been doing her best to manage in the circumstances but she had been warned by health doctors and nurses about the dangers of sleeping with the baby.

She had also been given a "pepi-pod" for the child.

Defence counsel Matthew Phelps said there was limited public interest in the woman being convicted in the circumstances.

Prosecutor Fiona Cleary said police could not consent to a discharge without conviction but the woman's culpability was at the lower end of criminal responsibility.

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