London – Court of Appeal judges has freed a mother jailed over the death of her four-week-old baby after she took him with her on a drinking binge.
Marina Tilby, 26, fell asleep on her son Darrian and was so drunk it took more than an hour for her to wake up after he was taken to hospital.
She was jailed for two years and four months at Swansea Crown Court in June after admitting child cruelty through willful neglect. But judges at the Court of Appeal, in London, reduced her sentence to 16 months and suspended it.
Justice Fraser, sitting with Lord Justice Singh and Justice Thornton, told the court on Tuesday that Tilby took Darrian with her when she went out with her sister on March 29, 2017. The pair drank at a pub before going to the club house at Quay West caravan park in New Quay, Ceredigion, Mid Wales.
Tilby was seen holding the baby while dancing and lifting him above her head and throwing him in the air before catching him. The sisters met three men and later went to their caravan.
Tilby, of Llwyncelyn, Ceredigion, fed Darrian before putting him on a double bed and going to sleep next to him in the early hours of March 30. When her sister came in a little later she found Tilby lying on top of Darrian, who was unresponsive with blood on his nose.
Tilby could not be roused for an hour and a quarter while Darrian was taken to Bronglais hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Medical evidence was unable to rule out the possibility Darrian’s death was caused by sudden infant death syndrome before Tilby had rolled on to him.
Mr Justice Fraser said psychological reports made it clear that Darrian’s death had a significant impact on Tilby’s mental health.
In June a judge said she had ignored a mother’s duty to put her child’s safety “above all else”.
Mr Justice Fraser said the original sentence was ‘manifestly excessive’ in the light of Tilby’s suffering. She is to be supervised by the Probation Service for a year.