July 2019

Croydon mum with post-natal depression smothered baby

A mother with post-natal depression smothered her three-month-old daughter to death with a pillow, a court heard.

Kamila Bogdan, 41, was found having killed daughter Julia in March and told police she was “not able to look after her in the way a mother should”.

An Old Bailey judge said Bogdan’s “conduct towards Julia was wholly due to [her] mental illness”.

Bogdan, of Croydon, south London, has been served with a hospital order after pleading guilty to infanticide.

The rarely-seen offence is defined as the killing of a child under 12 months by his or her mother, while the parent’s mind is “disturbed” due to giving birth.

A not guilty plea to murder was accepted by the prosecution.

The court was told how in early February, weeks before Bogdan killed her baby, she had taken an overdose of painkillers and been told she was suffering mild post-natal depression.

Prosecutor Crispen Aylett QC told the court Bogdan spent a night in hospital before being discharged and told a doctor she was “very anxious all the time”.

An ambulance crew found Bogdan in bed next to her daughter when they were called to her home in Tamworth Road, Croydon, on 2 March.

Bogdan then admitted to a police officer: “I was smothering her because I don’t want these kids to suffer any more.

“I can’t give anything more of myself to them. I’m not able to look after her in the way a mother should.”

Psychiatrist Dr Christopher McEvedy expressed concerns over the case’s handling, and said: “The severity of her condition does not appear to have been communicated to those in the best position to safeguard her.”

Sentencing, Judge Sarah Munro QC told Bogdan: “Your conduct towards Julia was wholly due to your mental illness.

“Accordingly I have concluded that punishment is not merited in this case. Your future is best decided by medical professionals in a hospital environment.”

An inquiry into Julia’s death has begun, the court was told.