ALDERSHOT BREAKING HAMPSHIRE

An Aldershot woman who killed her baby has escaped a jail sentence

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A woman has been sentenced after killing her newborn baby in Aldershot.

Babita Rai, 24, was convicted of infanticide on 20 May following a two-week trial at Winchester Crown Court.

They found her not guilty of murder.

The trial heard that officers were called to Manor Park, Aldershot, at around 1.30pm on Friday 19 May 2017 after the discovery of the baby girl’s body.

A post-mortem found that the cause of death was blunt force injuries to her head, inflicted shortly after birth.

Today Monday 26 July, Rai was sentenced to a community order of 2 years and a rehabilitation order of 30 days.

Rai has already served 385 days in custody.

On sentencing, His Honour Justice Johnson said: “None of that is to suggest that this is not serious, it was. It resulted in the ultimate harm to a new-born baby. But the mitigation in this case, as in many cases of its type, is overwhelming.”

Detective Chief Inspector Dave Storey said: “The circumstances surrounding the death of Baby M are truly heart-breaking, and I cannot begin to imagine what the mother, Babita Rai, was going through to drive her to such an extreme act.

“I want to assure you that if you find yourself in a similar situation, there is help available to you.

“Today’s verdict is the culmination of a long and harrowing investigation on which a significant number of experts provided vital evidence.

“This expert opinion was supported by sustained police activity, which included visiting 1,200 households, completing 5,000 questionnaires and the viewing of over 1,000 hours of CCTV footage in order to identify the mother.

“It cannot be underestimated how much such a terrible event affects the local community.

“The investigation and subsequent trial has provided important information and answers as to what occurred. The jury examined these facts and sensibly returned Infanticide as their verdict.

“This brings the case to a satisfactory conclusion but death of Baby M will remain a tragedy for all involved.”

Chief Inspector John Halfacre said: “We are extremely grateful to the communities in Aldershot and the wider Rushmoor district for their support and assistance during this difficult investigation.

“This was a truly shocking and awful event. I want to reassure the local community that we are here for you; we will listen and respond to any concerns that are raised by the outcome of this trial.”