An Indian-origin woman is fighting charges of manslaughter at a UK court trial where she is accused of shaking her six-month-old baby girl to death.
Ravinder Deol, 35, allegedly acted out of “pure frustration” when she killed the “incredibly small” girl in Aylesbury, central England, in 2016, Reading Crown Court was told this week.
The baby, named Ravneet, suffered major health problems after being born prematurely but was doing well at the time of her death on April 3, 2016, ‘The Sun’ newspaper reported.
“Though her age was six months, had she been born at full term she would have been 11 weeks rather than a six-month-old. She was also incredibly small,” Prosecutor Jane Bickerstaff told Justice Whipple and the jury.
“There is no suggestion that the defendant meant to kill her child, or cause really serious harm to her. Looking at the circumstances you may well conclude she snapped. She snapped because Ravneet was crying, she snapped out of pure frustration of the situation,” Bickerstaff said.
On the day of Ravneet’s death, Deol’s partner was sleeping after a 12-hour nightshift when he received a phone call from Ravinder just before 4.30 pm telling him to “come quickly” as there was something wrong with the baby.
He told the jury: I could tell from her voice that there was something seriously wrong. I saw Ravinder holding Ravneet against her, she was crying. There was no movement in Ravneet’s face. Her eyes were slightly open, her colour wasn’t right, her mouth was slightly open and to the side. I called 999 (emergency services and started CPR (Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation.”
The jury heard paramedics and police arrived within seven minutes of the call and were told that Ravneet had been in her baby basket while her mother went into the kitchen to prepare milk. Deol then claimed the little baby was unresponsive when she returned.
But three days later, a procedural post-mortem examination discovered bruising to the skull on both sides, the jury heard.
Bickerstaff said: “Evidence emerged that Ravneet had been forcibly shaken and had likely received blows to each side of the head.”
Deol had been on maternity leave from her work as a nursery assistant at the time. The court heard that the mother admitted she had “started shaking” the baby when she was questioned by police but the officer didn’t pick up on what she said.
Deol went on to be charged with manslaughter in September 2018 and the trial is expected to continue for a few days before a verdict in the case.