A Lithuanian woman who strangled her newborn baby was spared a jail sentence in a U.K. court because she was "overwhelmed by stress" at the time she committed the murder.
The Daily Mail reports that 30-year-old Gintare Suminaite of Lithuania, gave birth to a child who was the product of an affair with a fellow Lithuanian.
Suminaite admitted to infanticide after claiming that she was mentally disturbed by the effects of giving birth, and at the thought of having to hide the father's true identity from her boyfriend at the time.
A West Sussex court determined that Suminaite would face a 24-month community order with a rehabilitation requirement, but was spared jail time for her crime.
Prosecutors allege that Suminaite hid her pregnancy and the fact that she had an affair with a fellow Lithuanian from her long-term boyfriend, with whom she already has a young child.
Suminaite had planned to run away to Lithuania with her boyfriend, but ended up staying in England after he returned alone because she didn't want to separate from her child.
Suminaite allegedly left work early one day in order to give birth in the bathroom of her home, while her partner was in the other room. He reportedly found her lying naked in the bathroom surrounded by blood. Suminaite was allegedly pale and cold, and the baby lay motionless beside her. Paramedics were called, and determined that the infant had been strangled by Suminaite. She admitted to strangling the infant with her bare hands, but did not offer a reason as to why she did so.
Suminaite allegedly attempted to drown the baby after strangling her by holding her in the shower. She claims she then passed out, only to come to later and find the baby lying dead beside her. That's when she tied a pair of her underwear around the baby's neck and strangled her again, before putting her in the bathtub.
At her sentencing, the justice showed compassion:
The unlawful homicide of anyone is a tragedy, especially in the case when the victim is so young, even more so that is the case when the child dies at the hands of her mother. However, your own circumstances were tragic in themselves and that is reflected in the nature of the [offense] to which you have pleaded guilty. You were overwhelmed by the stress of your situation and in a state of partial denial during the pregnancy. At the time of giving birth your were in a state of extreme anxiety and panic amounting to a temporary impairment of the balance of your mind.
Reaction on social media was swift.
One Facebook user wrote: "She murdered her baby after giving birth and she walks free?!? What planet these liberal judges are on? She should have been jailed for life. The British justice system is a complete joke."
Another added: "Killed a baby to hide her affair with another man and got released without punishment because she was too stressed when she committed the crime? Bravo justice system. Bravo."