Press one of the expand buttons to see the full text of an article. Later press collapse to revert to the original form. The buttons below expand or collapse all articles.
June 14, 2006 permalink
The following article, told with an anti-mother bias, gives a creative method of baby-stealing. When Jennifer Liehne gave, birth, social services pulled out the record of a long-ago crib-death, reclassified it as the now-discredited Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy, sentenced her to jail and took her baby. The mother found it impossible to find exculpatory witnesses to events over twenty years ago.
TRULY WICKED MUM
'High risk' killer mum is caged for 10 years
A MOTHER who killed her baby daughter nearly a quarter of a century ago was branded "truly wicked" yesterday as she was jailed for 10 years.
A court heard Jennifer Liehne was a continuing danger to children and young people physically, emotionally and psychologically.
Liehne, whom the court heard had smothered her daughter Jacqueline repeatedly over two months before she died, broke down in tears as sentence was passed.
Because of the danger she poses, the judge, Lord Hardie, told Liehne that she would be strictly monitored for a further five years on her release.
He told her: "Your actions can only be described as truly wicked and it is impossible for any decent human being to comprehend your persistent abuse of your baby."
The High Court in Glasgow heard Liehne, 42, was not suffering from any mental illness, although medical tests suggested it was possible she might have the personality disorder Munchausen's syndrome by proxy.
The condition makes sufferers seek attention and sympathy by inducing illness in someone close to them, usually a child, so that they require medical care.
Nurse Beverly Allitt, who killed four children and was jailed for life in 1993, is also believed to suffer from the untreatable condition.
The judge told Liehne: "You were responsible for your actions and you will have the death of your baby on your conscience for the rest of your life, whatever penalty I impose.
"You are a danger to children and young people and pose a high risk of harm to the public."
And he said Liehne had to be deprived of access to children in the future.
He added it was probable if she had further children they would be taken away from her.
He said: "On her release it may be that people she lives beside might be unaware of her history and might invite her to babysit."
And passing the five-year monitoring order, he said: "The issue of the protection of children and young people from you is too important to leave to any uncertainty."
Liehne was found guilty last month of the culpable homicide of her daughter Jacqueline, who died in December 1982 aged seven months.
She had originally been charged with murder.
The court heard yesterday she was still claiming she didn't harm her child.
It was originally thought Jacqueline was the victim of a cot death but the case was reopened when social workers discovered Liehne was pregnant again in 2001. She went on to have a baby girl who is now in care.
After re-examining the case, medical experts concluded foul play was involved.
Lord Hardie said: "There is no greater bond than that of a mother and child. Throughout the seven months of her short life Jacqueline depended on you and trusted you to care for her.
"For some reason you chose to abuse that trust and that abuse manifested itself in criminal activity during the last two months before her death."
As she was led away, Liehne of Craigmillar Court, Peffermill Road, Edinburgh, burst into tears and had to grab railings to stop herself from falling.
'Your actions can only be described as truly wicked and it is impossible for any decent human being to comprehend your persistent abuse of your baby' LORD HARDIE.
Source: Glasgow Daily Record
Pointed out by a Dufferin VOCA reader