April 2019

Solihull mum who squeezed baby to death jailed

A mother who squeezed her two-month-old daughter to death has been jailed.

Abigail Palmer, from Solihull, crushed Teri-Rae’s ribcage so hard she caused 10 fractures in January 2017.

The injuries ultimately led to the baby suffocating slowly over several hours, West Midlands Police said.

Palmer, 33, who claimed she had found her daughter “blue and lifeless”, was found guilty of manslaughter at Birmingham Crown Court and jailed for 13-and-a-half years.

Police said Teri-Rae’s death was not initially believed to be suspicious as no signs of injury were detected.

However, a skeletal survey revealed three healing rib fractures and more detailed 3D scans showed further hairline fractures.

Medical experts said the injuries would have disrupted Teri-Rae’s breathing due to the pain and she would have slowly suffocated.

Palmer inflicted the injuries between 03:00 GMT and 11:00 on 2 January after returning from a pub, according to the force.

She told officers Teri-Rae was “never out of her sight” and was not mishandled by anyone else, but offered offered no plausible explanation for the girl’s injuries.

April 2019

Mum guilty of killing her two month old child ‘to stop her crying’

A mum with a history of drug and alcohol abuse is facing jail after being convicted of killing her two month old daughter by crushing her as she tried to stop her from crying.

Abigail Palmer crushed Teri-Rae so hard she broke her ribs

A jury at Birmingham Crown Court found the 33-year-old of Redfern Close, Solihull, West Midlands guilty of manslaughter and also of wounding.

Teri-Rae died on January 2, 2017 – nine weeks after being born weighing just 4lb 7ozs.

Palmer fractured two of the baby’s ribs the day before her death, as well as in late December 2016.

Some of Teri-Rae’s ribs were found to have buckled. Others had snapped.

When quizzed, Palmer said she’d taken a nap on the sofa with her daughter and woke up to find the baby “blue and lifeless”

Teri-Rae’s death was initially treated as non-suspicious but a skeletal examination revealed she had suffered a number of healing and fresh rib fractures.

Palmer had tested positive for cocaine during her pregnancy and was facing the threat of Teri-Rae being taken into care before the baby died.

In adjourning sentence until Thursday morning and rejecting an application for bail Mrs Justice Lambert said a jail sentence was “inevitable.”

Jonas Hankin QC, prosecuting, said Teri-Rae was born on October 24, 2016 and was made the subject of a child protection plan.

It had imposed strict conditions on her mother, who had tested positive for cocaine during her pregnancy, which had included banning her from drugs and alcohol.

Palmer had regular visits from health care and social workers who did not raise any concerns about mother and baby.

However on one occasion she had been spotted secretly going to a public house with Teri-Rae and drinking wine.

On January 2 she had dialled 999 but paramedics who arrived at her home were unable to resuscitate her daughter .

When quizzed Palmer said she had taken a nap on a sofa with her daughter lying on her chest and she had woke up to find her “blue and lifeless.”

The death was initially treated as non suspicious but a skeletal examination later revealed the baby had suffered a number of healing and fresh rib fractures.

Mr Hankin said her brain had also received an inadequate flow of oxygen and had been damaged as a result.

He said Palmer had inflicted the injuries on Teri-Rae “by forceful compression of her chest, most likely to silence her crying.”

Mr Hankin said that initially the death was treated as non-suspicious because there were no signs of injury to her body

But a skeletal examination later revealed that the baby had allegedly suffered a number of healing and fresh rib fractures.

Mr Hankin said: “Her brain had received an inadequate supply of oxygen and had been damaged as a result.”

Teri-Rae, he said, had been subjected to “significant injury” which could not be explained by anything that happened at birth or the attempts at resuscitation.

He added: “The prosecution case is that on each occasion the defendant inflicted those injuries on her daughter by forceful compression of her chest, most likely to silence her crying.

“Teri-Rae was in the defendant’s sole care. no one else can be responsible.”

He claimed that Palmer had also inflicted the older rib injuries that were found.

Mr Hankin said: “The fresh multiple rib fractures inflicted on January 2 caused or at least contributed to Terri-Rae’s death.

“These fractures lead to progressive respiratory failure caused by shallow breathing leading ultimately to death from asphyxia.”

Mr Hankin said that when Palmer was taken in a police car to Heartlands Hospital an officer noticed the smell of alcohol on her breath, although she claimed not to have had a drink on that day.

Concerns were raised over Palmer shortly into her pregnancy with Teri-Rae.

Mr Hankin told how she had a history of substance abuse and flagged positive for cocaine during a screening at 15 weeks’ pregnant.

She was brought in to Birmingham’s Heartlands hospital at 37 weeks’ pregnant to be induced because of Teri-Rae’s stunted growth.