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Mother gets away with suspended sentence

Shayal Devi
Saturday, February 24, 2018

A MOTHER convicted for infanticide received a two-year suspended sentence by the High Court in Lautoka.

Alena Mausa appeared before judge Justice Aruna Aluthge for killing her son shortly after his birth on January 7, 2012.

The court heard the accused was deserted by her partner after the birth of her first child, leaving her financially dependent on her elder brother.

After a short relationship, she fell pregnant again.

The court heard that this drew the ire of her brother who refused to support her second child. The accused became depressed and hid her pregnancy from her family and villagers, Justice Aluthge told the court.

"You gave birth to a baby boy in the toilet and wrapped him in a towel and threw him in the river," he said.

"After the delivery, you were hospitalised for two days and upon being discharged from hospital you were interviewed by police under caution.

"You admitted killing the baby. The psychiatrist who evaluated you found that you were a mother who lacked adequate social and economic support and guidance during your pregnancy.

"The court found that at the time of the offence, the balance of your mind was disturbed by reason of multiple stresses you were subjected to during pregnancy."

Justice Aluthge said the accused expressed remorse after the crime and came from a poverty-stricken family.

"However, these factors should not be legitimate grounds to justify taking away the life of an innocent and highly vulnerable infant," he said.

"Considering the aggravating and mitigating factors, I sentence you for two years imprisonment suspended for two years.

"If at any time during the operational period of suspended sentence of imprisonment, you commit another offence punishable by imprisonment, you are guilty of an offence."

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