A British mother was sentenced to at least 18 years behind bars for beating her newborn baby, stuffing an object down her throat and leaving her in the bushes to die.
Hannah Cobley, a 29-year-old Leicestershire resident, was convicted of murder Thursday in what Justice Susan Carr called a “totally shocking crime,” BBC News reported Friday. Cobley gave birth to a premature but healthy baby girl in an outdoor bathroom located on her parent’s farm on April 26, 2017, but instead of calling for help, she bashed the baby’s head into the bathroom tiles. She also stuffed a foreign object down the infant’s throat before putting the child in plastic bags and leaving her to die in a bushy area, the network reports.
The child, who was shown to have suffered three skull fractures, is believed to have survived for two hours before dying, an autopsy reportedly revealed.
Jurors reached their decision after an hour and a half of deliberation, marking the culmination of a four-week trial, the New York Post reports.
Authorities discovered the baby’s body on April 30, one day after Cobley went to the hospital to seek treatment for an illness, Leicester Live reports. There, doctors discovered that she’d recently been pregnant, and had no choice but to contact the authorities after Cobley continued to deny a prior pregnancy or the existence of a child, according to the outlet. Police found the infant’s body after searching the property; the child appeared to have suffered cuts and bruises, but Cobley claimed that the injuries occurred when the baby fell into the toilet bowl during birth.
Cobley claimed that she didn’t know that a prior rendezvous with a stranger had left her pregnant, the New York Post reports. She told police that she put the baby in a bag and placed her outside because the child was stillborn, but authorities say that she previously went online and searched phrases like “how long a baby can survive without being fed” and “what happens when a newborn baby is dropped,” the Post reports.
While Cobley’s defense attorney claimed that she “has the capability to rehabilitate,” prosecutor Jonas Hankin accused Cobley of having “no regard for the sanctity of human life,” according to the BBC.
“Had Miss Cobley not been admitted to hospital, the body may never have been found,” he said. “There was little or no remorse during the trial — she is a profoundly self-interested young woman.”
Crime Time is your destination for true crime stories from around the world, breaking crime news, and information about Oxygen's original true crime shows and documentaries. Sign up for our Crime Time Newsletter and subscribe to our true crime podcast Martinis & Murder for all the best true crime content.