Woman guilty of infanticide awaits sentence

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FRANCISTOWN: A woman who suffocated her newborn child to death on March 27, 2014 will be sentenced on October 7, 2019.

Mosetsana Foreman unequivocally accepted the facts after they were read out to her before Justice Barnabas Nyamadzabo on Wednesday. 

According to the facts, at the time Foreman strangled her newborn baby to death, her balance of mind was disturbed because she had not recovered from the effects of giving birth. 

“The accused realised that she was pregnant in 2013 and relayed that to her boyfriend, who told her to go to the clinic. In March 27, 2014 she started experiencing labour pains while at work and was granted permission to go to the clinic. She went home whereupon she felt the need to urinate.  She took a bucket and as she was urinating, her labour pains intensified and she felt that she was about to give birth,” stated the facts. 

Foreman, as in the facts, then went to the bathroom, laid her trouser on the floor and started giving birth. 

“After she gave birth, the accused realised that the child was alive and crying.  She then suffocated him and then went outside the house near the toilet where she buried the child under some bricks.  She then went to the tap to bath. Her brother saw her and asked her why she had bloodstains on her.  In response, the accused told her brother she was in her menstrual cycle. She was then taken to Nyangabgwe Referral Hospital where she told doctors that she had just given birth,” read the facts. 

According to the facts, the police later questioned the accused and she told them where she had buried her baby. 

The facts further state: “The police then went to the accused’s place of residence and exhumed the baby.  The doctors later examined the baby’s remains and the results showed that he died from suffocation.  The accused was later taken for psychiatric evaluation. The specialist who examined the accused opined that when she committed the offence, her balance of mind was disturbed by the effects of giving birth”. 

After admitting to the offence, the accused missed going to prison by a whisker after her attorney Gontse Simon pleaded with the court to be lenient with her given she attended court with her other baby, who was still small.

The court acceded to the plea of the accused’s attorney and extended her bail until mitigation and sentence.

Justice Nyamadzabo also made an order that the accused should be fingerprinted to ascertain if she has previous convictions.

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