Depressed mother 'suffocated baby daughter and dumped body in bin'

Depressed mother 'suffocated baby daughter and dumped body in bin'

A depressed woman who became pregnant as the result of a brief romance through a dating website went on to suffocate her baby daughter and dump the body in a bin, a court heard.

Receptionist Federica Boscolo-Gnolo, from Chioggia in Italy, pleaded guilty to the manslaughter by diminished responsibility of two-month-old Farah between January 23 and 30 last year.

At a hearing at the Old Bailey, she was sentenced to a hospital order with an unlimited restriction order under the Mental Health Act in the light of psychiatric reports.

Outlining the facts of the case, prosecutor Mark Heywood QC said Boscolo-Gnolo, 32, first came to the UK in 2012 to do a language course and took a job as a receptionist.

She met a man on Match.com in 2013 although the relationship was "not close"and was short lived, he said.

By the time she found she was pregnant, the relationship had "drifted" and was nearly at an end so she returned to her family in Italy in September 2014, Mr Heywood said.

When the baby was born in November 2014, she was found to have an eye defect although surgery would have helped her development.

Boscolo-Gnolo's mother described the defendant as being "attentive and caring" towards the newborn child, the court heard.

But in January last year, she took a flight to London without telling her family and checked into the Lily Hotel near Earls Court in west London with Farah.

While there, she texted the baby's father and contacted a former colleague who visited and promised to stay in touch.

Boscolo-Gnolo then suffocated baby Farah by putting a pillow over her head because she felt "hopeless" and saw no reason why her daughter should suffer.

Afterwards, she bought a new suitcase, disposable gloves and bin liners before leaving the child's body in a bin in the Russell Square area of central London.

Despite extensive searches the body has never been recovered, the court heard.

Boscolo-Gnolo moved to another hotel alone and contacted her parents in Italy telling them she had taken the baby to see a doctor about her eye condition and she had been taken away by social services.

They were concerned for their daughter and granddaughter's welfare and flew to London on Thursday January 29.

They took Boscolo-Gnolo to a police station to report Farah missing but detectives later arrested the mother over the baby's disappearance.

Sentencing, Recorder of London Nicholas Hilliard QC said psychiatric reports had provided an explanation of how the "precious life" had been lost.

He accepted that she had been suffering from at least "moderate" depression with psychotic symptoms and probable underlying personality disorder.

She had been hearing voices telling her how her daughter would "suffer in her life" and had also lost touch with reality, he said.

The judge told her: "You were quite simply overwhelmed by the prospect of how you thought your daughter would suffer in her life."

He added: "I have no doubt you have expressed remorse for what you did and will continue to do so as your insight increases."

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