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Woman sentenced after admitting infanticide offence – Weston-super-Mare

The scales of justice and the words

A 34-year-old woman has been sentenced after admitting a charge of infanticide in connection with the death of a newborn baby in Weston-super-Mare.

Sarah Jayne Barron, formerly of Weston-super-Mare, was given a three-year community order at a hearing held in Bristol Crown Court today (Friday 14 July). She’s also been barred from working with children or vulnerable adults.

An investigation was launched by the Major Crime Investigation Team (MCIT), following the discovery of a newborn baby’s body in a private garden on the morning of Saturday 12 December, 2020.

Following the investigation, a file of evidence was passed to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and in October 2022, they authorised the defendant be charged with one count of murder.

As a result of detailed medical evidence compiled in preparation for a trial, the CPS accepted a plea to a charge of infanticide. In UK law, an offence of infanticide is one where a woman, by a wilful act or omission, causes the death of her child (under the age of 12 months), while the balance of her mind is disturbed due to the effect of giving birth.

Senior Investigating Officer, Supt Gary Haskins, said: “This was a tragic and complex incident which has had a profound impact on all those involved.

“It’s important the investigation and resulting proceedings were dealt with sensitively and proportionately by the police and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) taking into account all the evidence gathered, including the expert medical reports, to achieve the most appropriate outcome in these very sad circumstances.”