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Infanticide

Infanticide is an offence under Section 22A of the Crimes Act 1900 which carries a maximum penalty of 25 years in prison.

It is where the elements of murder are establish by the prosecution but the following facts are present in the case:

  1. The defendant was a woman
  2. The victim was her child
  3. The child was under the age of 12 months, and
  4. ‘At the time of the… [defendant’s] act or omission, the balance of her mind was disturbed by reason of her not having fully recovered from the effect of giving birth… [due to] the effect of lactation’ where the defendant has been prosecuted for murder.

It remains open to the jury to find her not guilty by reason of self-defence or ‘insanity’ or to return a verdict of manslaughter for other legal reasons.

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