Mother who carried out ‘chilling’ murder of newborn baby jailed for life

A mother who murdered her newborn baby girl “with chilling clarity of purpose” has been jailed for life.

Hannah Cobley, who had concealed her pregnancy from family and friends, inflicted severe head injuries on the infant and sealed her inside three plastic bags despite signs she may still have been alive.

She was jailed for a minimum term of 18 years at Leicester Crown Court on Friday, after her conviction after trial, Leicestershire Police said.

The 29-year-old gave birth in an outside toilet, before abandoning the child’s body in an overgrown area of the farm where she lived with her parents and cousin in Stoney Stanton, Leicestershire.

Cobley, of Broughton Road, denied murdering the baby in the early hours of April 26 2017, after claiming she had not killed or even harmed the infant.

Searches made on the killer’s phone which were examined as part of the investigation included “signs of stillbirth”, how long a baby can survive without being fed and what happens when a newborn baby is dropped.

Opening the case at the start of her trial, prosecuting barrister Jonas Hankin QC said: “Ms Cobley did nothing to ensure her baby lived.

“On the contrary, the prosecution case is that Ms Cobley, with chilling clarity of purpose, deliberately and intentionally killed her baby.”

Hannah Cobley court case
Hannah Cobley leaving Leicester Crown Court (Aaron Chown/PA Wire)

Following sentencing, Detective Inspector Jon Blockley of Leicestershire Police said: “This is an extremely sad and tragic case which has resulted in the death of a newborn baby girl, born at 32 weeks.

“Hannah Cobley had previously denied being responsible for her baby’s death but, following this investigation, has today been found guilty of murder.

“Cobley could have sought help from her own family or professionals, but instead took actions into her own hands. This decision meant a newborn baby girl was denied her life.”

Mr Blockley added: “My thoughts remain with all those affected and I want to thank everyone who assisted in this investigation providing information as well as to all the police officers and staff who worked tirelessly on such a devastating case.”

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