Belfast Telegraph

Belfast Telegraph to challenge ban on identifying mother suspected of killing her baby

By Chris Kilpatrick

The Belfast Telegraph is to challenge a court order banning the public from knowing the identity of a suspected baby killer.

The 30-year-old was charged by detectives investigating the child's death in March.

The woman is the infant's mother.

Her identity is known to this newspaper – but reporting restrictions imposed on the case prevent us from publishing it.

The baby boy was injured in an incident in the east of the city and later died from his injuries.

The woman was subsequently arrested and then detained under the Mental Health Act.

She was yesterday remanded into continuing medical care where she is receiving treatment and is under constant supervision.

She was not required to attend the brief hearing at Belfast Magistrates Court. A doctor overseeing the woman's treatment said she required intensive medical care and was set to be moved to a more secure facility.

"My patient's mental state has deteriorated since I was last in court," the doctor said.

She said the woman was due to undergo psychotherapy reports.

A lawyer for this newspaper informed the court it was his intention to challenge the anonymity order granted in favour of the defendant.

At a hearing last month a defence lawyer successfully sought the order banning the Press from identifying her.

No media representatives were present in court at the time to challenge the application.

However, it was later confirmed the prohibition was granted under the terms of the Human Rights Act. The application to overturn it will be made later this month. A police file on the case is due to be completed by next month, the court was told.

In March, police confirmed they had launched a murder investigation into the child's death.

Forensic officers examined the scene and the property was cordoned off. The child's mother was arrested and detained.

At the time a shocked neighbour said: "You never know the tragedy that is behind any door."

She added: "The circumstances surrounding this particular case remain unclear, and early speculation is neither helpful or necessary."

It is thought that the woman lived at the premises for around a year but was not well-known to neighbours.

The woman will continue to receive medical treatment until the case is brought before the same court next month.

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