Mother drowned toddler for revenge, court told

July 27, 2012

A court has heard a New South Wales woman deliberately drowned her 17-month-old daughter to get revenge on the child’s father.

The 27-year-old is accused of drowning the toddler in a Wollongong suburb in July 2009.

Her lawyer told a Supreme Court jury in Sydney that the woman had a “depressive illness” at the time.

But she is standing trial for murder after the Crown rejected her guilty plea to the lesser charge of manslaughter.

In his opening address, crown prosecutor Michael Fox said the child drowned after her mother put her face down in the bath and left the water running while she sat in another room.

He said the woman then dressed her dead daughter and put her on a bed where she slept beside her.

The jury was told the woman did not call an ambulance or mention the child’s death to anyone for two days and in that time tried to commit suicide.

The court heard the woman had a troubled relationship with the child’s father and that days before the baby’s death she found out that he was taking another woman on a holiday.

Mr Fox said the woman sent her former partner a text that read: “Enjoy your trip to the snow, it’s the last weekend you will be happy.”

He said she feared losing custody of her daughter.

Defence barrister Dina Yehia SC said her client was a caring and loving mother who became isolated and depressed before the toddler’s death.

The barrister said she was suffering from an “abnormality of the mind” that affected her ability to know right from wrong.

The woman sat quietly in the dock avoiding the gaze of the jurors who sat within metres of her.

Her trial, before Acting Justice Michael Grove, continues.

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