Marina Tilby has been released from jail after being found guilty of child cruelty through wilful neglect. She was charged because she fell asleep on her four-week-old baby after a drunken night out, and he suffocated.
Tilby and her sister went out to a pub to drink Guinness before heading to a club house at Quay West park. She brought her four-week-old son with her despite the dangers that a drunken night out can bring to a baby boy. Witnesses saw Tilby dancing while holding her son, and she was even caught on CCTV throwing him in the air before catching him. Clearly, she was not sober enough to properly watch out for a baby.
After their night of drinking, the sisters met three men who were staying at the caravan park. They went back with them, and Tilby decided to put her son, Darrian, to bed. She fed him before laying him down on a double bed. Not long after, she fell asleep beside him. Her sister came to look for her, and she found her lying on top of the baby boy. By then, he was unresponsive with blood on his nose. Tilby was too deep in her sleep to be roused, so she continued to sleep while her baby was rushed to the Bronglais hospital. Doctors tried to save him, but he was pronounced dead.
She pleaded guilty to the charge of child cruelty through wilful neglect. The judge who sentenced her made it clear that she showed deliberate disregard for her son’s welfare. The father of the child testified that he would have looked after his son on that night if he had been asked. Her defence lawyer appealed that the sentence of two years and four months is too long, especially since she suffered a deep depression due to the incident.
Judges granted the appeal, stating that her one evening of neglect was a lapse of judgement, and Darrian was well-cared for otherwise. They concluded that the original sentence was “massively excessive” after seeing her genuine remorse and suffering from losing a child. Her sentence has been reduced to 16 months and was suspended. The court ordered her to be supervised by the Probation Service for a year.