A mother who admitted killing her newborn baby has already been convicted of disposing of the body of another newborn.

The woman, who has interim name suppression, appeared at Christchurch District Court yesterday where she admitted infanticide.

Police said she gave birth in October 2010 after hiding the pregnancy from her family. She then killed the baby and hid the corpse in her wardrobe for 45 days.

In February that year, police were called to a property in Christchurch, where the body of a mummified baby was discovered in a shed.


The woman pleaded guilty to disposing of the body of the baby in March. At the time she admitted she had disposed of the child's body, with the intent to hide the fact of its birth, and said she could not remember whether the child was alive after she gave birth or was stillborn.

In the latest case, Crown Prosecutor Kathy Bell told court the woman gave birth in her bedroom at her home in Christchurch on October 23.

The woman's parents and 8-year-old daughter were at home at the time but were unaware of the birth.

The court was told the woman tied the umbilical cord with some wool, cleared the mouth and rubbed the newborn infant on the back.

The baby began to breathe and the accused then "smothered the infant by placing her hand over the air passages''.

The baby died and the woman put its body "amongst some clothing'' inside a pink recyclable shopping bag before placing the bag at the front of her wardrobe.

She then cleaned her bedding and the carpet in her room to "hide any evidence of the birth from her family,'' a police statement of facts said.

The woman used air freshener and fly spray to hide the smell of the decomposing corpse, and family were prevented from entering her room.

The newborn infant remained in the wardrobe for "approximately 45 days'' until it was found by the accused's mother in "a severely decomposed state''.

When spoken to by police, the accused initially denied infanticide, but later admitted the facts.

The post-mortem examination results indicated the newborn infant was a full-term healthy female baby.

Interim name suppression was continued by Justice Lester Chisholm after a request by defence counsel Elizabeth Bulger.

The woman was remanded to Hillmorton Hospital for a sentence date of April 17.