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Mum Suffering From Mental Illness Detained Indefinitely For Killing Baby Daughter

14/08/2014 17:01 | Updated 20 May 2015

Mentally distrubed mum detained indefinitely for killing baby daughter

A mother who killed her seven-month-old baby has been detained indefinitely in a secure hospital.

Amy Black, 40, had previously admitted infanticide of her daughter Zoe - probably by drowning - while the 'balance of her mind was disturbed'.

A court heard she thought her TV was 'telling her to do things' before she drowned her baby and dumped it in a factory car park.

She snapped after enduring a sleepless night with Zoe, who had been crying constantly because of a painful case of glue ear.

CCTV footage showed the mother climbing a makeshift ladder and tipping the child's body over an eight-foot fence into undergrowth that separated her bungalow in Bestwood, Nottingham, from an industrial unit.

Zoe was found dead in undergrowth on 1 September by Black's neighbours who, along with paramedics, tried to resuscitate her.

The court was told drowning was the mostly likely cause of death.

Black became increasingly paranoid at her home before the horrific incident, and believed her husband was a spy from the UK Government.

She also thought her neighbours were ignoring her because she was American, and had illusions of her television telling her to leave the UK.

At Nottingham Crown Court, Black, of Bestwood Park, Nottingham, was detained and can only be released with the consent of the Ministry of Justice. A serious case review is currently under way.

High Court Judge Mrs Justice Kathryn Thirlwall, sentencing Black, said: "You are suffering from a mental illness that makes it necessary that you be detained for treatment."

She added: "You will have to live with it for the rest of your life."

During an investigation it was revealed Black went to London on Saturday, 31 August - the day before Zoe's death. She then went to Ealing police station and said she had to get back to Nottingham.

Officers returned to her home and requested she receive an emergency visit from out-of-hours social workers because they were concerned. But the court heard no social workers were available.

The following day, Black was captured on CCTV dropping Zoe over the garden fence at her home.

She was later seen climbing over the same fence and then pacing around the area with self-inflicted knife wounds. Neighbours called the police and found Zoe's body.

The court heard Black suffered periods of paranoia and three psychiatrists agreed she was still suffering mental illness.

In mitigation, Isabella Forshall QC said: "This is a loving mother who gave tender care to Zoe until her mind was disastrously clouded by mental illness."

Black was made subject to a hospital order, under the Mental Health Act, with restrictions which mean she can only be released with the consent of the Ministry of Justice.

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