Belfast Telegraph

Mother accused of murdering her baby to stay in mental health hospital

By Alan Erwin

A woman accused of murdering her baby is to be remanded on bail at mental health facilities, a judge has directed.

With a psychiatric report on the 30-year-old now completed, she is to remain there as a detained patient.

Belfast Magistrates Court was told she will not be able to leave without the hospital's permission.

The woman cannot be named amid claims that identifying her would increase the risk of her committing suicide.

A Press challenge to the temporary reporting restrictions is due to be heard next month.

The woman was arrested by detectives investigating the child's death following an incident in Belfast in March. She was charged with murder and then held under the Mental Health Act.

Her barrister Sean Doran revealed yesterday that a medical report has now been prepared.

Based on its contents he sought a termination of the current arrangements for keeping his client in the facilities.

"The application is that she be remanded on bail, subject to the condition that she continues to reside (there)," Mr Doran said.

A doctor who assessed the accused confirmed that the health trust consented to the proposal, provided the accused is there as a detained person.

District Judge Fiona Bagnall was informed that under those arrangements the woman will not be able to leave.

Granting the application, she listed the criminal proceedings for a further update in eight weeks' time.

Mrs Bagnall added: "We will not bring her to court until we need her in the circumstances of her current condition."

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph