A woman who throttled her baby daughter with a pair of knickers within minutes of giving birth in her bathroom is to walk free from jail.
Gintare Suminaite, 30, killed her child at the bedsit she shared with her boyfriend on April 5 last year.
Last month, the defendant, from Bognor Regis in West Sussex, denied murder but admitted infanticide as she was mentally disturbed by the effects of giving birth.
Suminaite, who spent 298 days on remand, was sentenced at the Old Bailey to a 24-month community order with a rehabilitation requirement order. The murder charge was ordered to lie on file.
Prosecutor Ed Brown QC told how the child was the product of a secret affair with a fellow Lithuanian.
Suminaite kept her pregnancy hidden from authorities and her long-term partner, with whom she already had a young child.
When confronted by her boyfriend, she denied sleeping with 32-year-old Arturas Vencius.
The couple’s relationship had become strained as they worked for the same company doing opposite shifts, the court heard.
Suminaite planned to run away to Lithuania with her lover, but he went back alone and she stayed in England as she did not want to be separated from her child.
On April 5, Suminaite left work early saying she had ‘big problems’ and gave birth in the bathroom at home, with her partner in another room.
He found her lying naked in the bathroom surrounded by blood and a baby bath full of what appeared to be clothes.
Suminaite was bleeding and pale and her boyfriend eventually called an ambulance after she confessed what had happened, saying she had done ‘something bad’ and was going to jail.
The child lay undiscovered as medics initially did not spot the body in the baby bath and the couple did not mention it.
She was treated in hospital for significant blood loss and injury from childbirth, the court heard.
Ambulance staff and police returned to the flat and were ‘deeply shocked’ at finding the child hidden in wet towels with a ligature tied tightly around her neck, Mr Brown said.
Following her arrest, Suminaite said she strangled her baby but did not know why.
She described giving birth quickly and easily and said the baby was moving and trying to cry.
She said she wrapped her hands around the child’s neck for a few minutes and strangled her ‘as hard as I could at the time’ before holding her in the shower in an attempt to drown her.
She cut the umbilical cord with a razor then passed out in the bath, she said.
When she came to, she said the baby was not moving and she tied a pair of her knickers around her neck and put her in the baby bath.
She said she did not know why she did it as she had no mental problems.
After the killing, Suminaite remained in contact with her Lithuanian lover who has returned to England and found somewhere for them to live.
However, her former boyfriend who is looking after their child has cut all ties, the court heard.
The defendant, who appeared in court by videolink from Bronzefield jail, wept throughout the hearing.
The court heard that she had been emotionally and socially isolated during her life in England.
Sentencing, Mr Justice Nicol said: ‘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 offence 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.’