An India-born woman has been sentenced to six years’ imprisonment after a UK court found her guilty of manslaughter and cruelty against her seven-month-old daughter.
Shalina Padmanabha, 33, had conceived Shagun after years of trying IVF treatment with her husband. The court heard that she abused her for three months after the premature baby spent the first four and a half months of life in hospital.
“You were carrying out acts of assault against this baby – or knew, no doubt, almost immediately after an incident occurred that you had done something you shouldn’t,” said Justice Patricia McGowan, during sentencing at the Old Bailey court in London on Friday.
“I accept entirely that you are devastated by the loss of your child… It is entirely wrong to say you show remorse and even now you do not accept responsibility,” she said.
Shagun had suffered an 8-centimeter and 11-centimeter fractures to the skull as well as injuries to the legs.
The seven-month-old girl suffered fatal head injuries from either Padmanabha hitting her or bashing her head against a hard surface, the Inner London Crown Court was told during the trial.
The baby was rushed to Whipps Cross Hospital in east London but later died from her injuries in the early hours of August 15, 2017.
In the post mortem, doctors found a number of older healing injuries including new and healing fractures to the skull, cracked ribs and bleeding behind the eyes, the ‘Daily Mirror’ reported.
The injuries were consistent with the baby being shaken, squeezed by the ribs and having her left leg pulled and twisted. Jurors were told some of the injuries dated as far back as three months, showing the baby had been abused for almost half her life.
A jury cleared Padmanabha of murder but convicted her of manslaughter and of cruelty against a person under 16.
“That scan revealed she had died as a result of catastrophic injuries to her head. It is the Crown’s case that the defendant, her mother, inflicted those injuries,” Tracey Ayling, arguing for the UK’s Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), told the court.
During the trial, Padmanabha claimed she did not know what caused her daughter to collapse. Following her arrest, she told police officers she simply had a “very strong” and “wriggly” baby.
Shagun had suffered from a number of medical issues, which required her to remain in the hospital for the first four and a half months.
After she was discharged, she needed to be fed a specialist diet via a tube, had severe eczema and a small hole in her head.