Mother admits bashing six-month-old baby Crystal Peters — (The Advertiser)

SSRI Ed note: Young mum does not take her depression/anxiety meds, beats her baby to death when she will not stop crying.

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The Advertiser (Adelaide)



November 06, 2007 01:30pm

A MOTHER accused of murdering her thriving six-month-old baby daughter has admitted she caused the injuries that led to her death.

Sarah Michelle Peters, 21, went on trial in the Supreme Court today after pleading not guilty to murdering Crystal Marie Peters at Seaford in August last year.

Crown prosecutor Kevin Tavener told a jury of seven women and five men in his opening address that Peters at first denied causing injuries found on Crystal after she died.

A post-mortem discovered that Crystal, who was born prematurely and had a relatively weak neck, had suffered a fracture to her left arm, skull fractures and haemorrhages.

When asked about the injuries by police, Peters told them “I would never do them to her”, Mr Tavener said.

Peters was charged and remanded in custody where she wrote a letter to her husband, Robert, saying that she had lost control when Crystal would not stop screaming.

Reading from the letter, Mr Tavener said Peters wrote: “I just started hitting her. I hit our only daughter.”

Peters wrote that she hit Crystal two times on the back and once on the head and then picked her up and shook her.

Mr Tavener said Peters was reinterviewed by police after they obtained the letter and she told them that on the day Crystal died she had not taken her medication for anxiety and depression.

Her husband, who she relied on for support, was not home and Peters said she became overwhelmed by Crystal’s crying.

She said she struck the child “full strength” with her fists, picked her up and threw her onto the bed which she bounced off, hit her head on a changing table and then hit the concrete floor.

Crystal stopped breathing and Peters rang for an ambulance, but Crystal was pronounced dead a short time after arriving at hospital.

Mr Tavener said the question for the jury to decide was whether Peters had an intention of killing or causing serious bodily harm to Crystal when she caused her injuries.

The trial continues.

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