September 23, 2008 / 4:18 PM / 9 years ago

Mother jailed for murdering disabled daughter

LONDON (Reuters) - A woman with a history of drinking and mental health problems was jailed for life on Tuesday for murdering her four-year-old disabled daughter.

<p>Four-year-old Naomi Hill is shown in this undated police handout photo. REUTERS/Handout</p>

Joanne Hill, 32, had admitted drowning her daughter Naomi in a bath last November but denied murder on the grounds of diminished responsibility, the Press Association reported.

Addressing the court after it handed down its verdict following a two-week trial at Chester Crown Court, Judge Elgan Edwards told Hill there was no excuse for what she had done.

Hill, from Connah’s Quay in Flintshire, will serve a minimum of 15 years before becoming eligible for parole.

The judge told Hill she had been unable to cope with her daughter’s disability -- Naomi suffered from mild cerebral palsy and had to wear callipers to walk.

“This has been a very sad case,” said Edwards. “Sad for you, for your husband, for the child you killed.”

<p>Joanne Hill, 32, is shown in this undated police handout photo. REUTERS/Handout</p>

Hill had given police grim details of how she collected her daughter from a childminder after work, ran a bath, drank a glass of wine, and then held Naomi’s head under the water for between 10 and 20 minutes.

She then dressed her lifeless daughter, put her in the family car and drove around for eight hours, before walking drunk into a hospital at 3:30 a.m. with Naomi in her arms.

Hill told medical staff: “Will somebody help me, I think she’s dead.”

Advertising saleswoman Hill had had an affair with a colleague at work a few days earlier.

Her 38-year-old husband Simon had refused Hill’s request for Naomi to be adopted or fostered by their childminder.

He told journalists after the trial he would never come to terms with his daughter’s murder at the hands of his wife.

“What she did to my princess Naomi was evil,” he said.

Reporting by Tim Castle

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
0 : 0
  • narrow-browser-and-phone
  • medium-browser-and-portrait-tablet
  • landscape-tablet
  • medium-wide-browser
  • wide-browser-and-larger
  • medium-browser-and-landscape-tablet
  • medium-wide-browser-and-larger
  • above-phone
  • portrait-tablet-and-above
  • above-portrait-tablet
  • landscape-tablet-and-above
  • landscape-tablet-and-medium-wide-browser
  • portrait-tablet-and-below
  • landscape-tablet-and-below