A woman has been convicted of the infanticide of her 10-week old daughter in a case which raises serious questions for the Metropolitan Police and local authority.
Hours after a home visit from a social worker, Lauren Saint George inflicted fatal head injuries, 18 rib fractures and a leg fracture on baby Lily-Mai Hurrell Saint George, the Old Bailey heard.
The 25-year-old mother lost her temper before violently shaking Lily-Mai and pulling and twisting her leg on January 31 2018, it was alleged.
Lily-Mai died at Great Ormond Street Hospital on February 2, when surgeons turned off her life support machine due to the extent of her brain damage.
Today, Saint George was found guilty at the court over the death, which came six days after the child was discharged into her parents’ care – despite healthcare professionals arguing against it.
Haringey social services had decided less than a week before the attack that Lily-Mai should be transferred to the sole care of her parents, Saint George and Darren Hurrell, 25 – even though experts at Barnet Hospital warned that she was at risk of neglect.
Meanwhile, the Met initially said there was not enough evidence to charge her parents.
Yet they both faced trial after a coroner ruled last year that the baby was unlawfully killed.
The jury of seven men and four women cleared Saint George, from Enfield, north London, of murder, manslaughter and child cruelty. But she was convicted of infanticide by a majority of 10-1, after more than 11 hours of deliberation.
The charge is an alternative verdict to murder where a mother kills her child while her mind is disturbed by a failure to recover from the effects of childbirth.
Her partner Hurrell, also 25 and from Alvaston in Derby, was cleared of child cruelty.
Prosecutor Sally O’Neill QC told the jury: ‘Lily-Mai’s death could almost definitely have been avoided if she had not been discharged into the care of two people who were woefully unsuited to caring for her.’
Mr Justice Spencer found Hurrell had no case to answer for charges of murder and manslaughter and threw out a charge of causing or allowing the death of a child against both parents.
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