CRIMINAL JUSTICE RESPONSES TO MATERNAL FILICIDE

by Felicity Gerry QC

This article sets out some of the matters we discussed in our Libertas Lecture on Thursday 28 October 2021 and develops them in the light of a recent decision in Australia.

On 10 November 2021 the Supreme Court in Victoria, Australia sentenced a woman to a non-conviction outcome for endangering the life of her 2-year-old child by placing his face in the bathwater for approximately 5 seconds.

She was originally charged with attempted murder, a plea to a lesser offence was accepted and a community corrections order was imposed, albeit after she had served many months in custody.

The court accepted that the conduct was in the context of a mental health crisis where the mother had self-reported and sought help.

This was held to reduce her culpability, and the sentencing judge exercised her discretionary power not to record a criminal conviction.

 

Download Article now
Download Article

To stay up to date with insight articles, webinars and chamber news why not subscribe to Libertas Lens (our periodic newsletter) – Click here to register