Woman 'relieved' when her daughter starved to death
A WEST Australian mother who starved her three-month-old daughter, then left the body to decompose in a shed is due to be sentenced after pleading guilty to manslaughter midway through her murder trial.
Tamara Louise Thompson, 38, failed to provide proper nourishment to baby Destiny, whose body was found in July last year wrapped in a muslin cloth inside a cooler bag that had been placed in a cardboard archiving box.
During her recent trial, the WA Supreme Court heard Thompson didn't want Destiny as she was unplanned and a constant reminder of the infant's biological father, her meth dealer who wanted nothing to do with them.
The baby was born six weeks premature, spending the first 20 days of her life in a neonatal unit after being born by Caesarean, like her five older siblings. The court heard Thompson would at best leave a baby bottle of milk in Destiny's cot and not bother to ensure the newborn drank from it.
When people wondered where Destiny was after she had not been seen for a while, Thompson told them different stories, including that the baby was in the care of the Department for Child Protection.
Thomson's landlord alerted the department when she inspected the property - which was home to two of Thompson's other children and a menagerie of dogs, cats, ducks, rabbits and chickens - and saw her rocking back and forth, surrounded by animal faeces.
After she was arrested, Thompson told police she was relieved when Destiny died, didn't know what had happened to her body, and didn't care.
It took several hours for her to admit the baby "might" be in the shed, where the infant's body was found, partly mummified.
Prosecutor Carmel Barbagallo said during a sentencing hearing last week that Destiny had a fractured rib but her body was so extensively decomposed the official cause of death could not be ascertained.
"The offender was grossly reckless in her care and monitoring of the needs of the baby," Ms Barbagallo said.
Defence counsel Helen Prince said Thompson had an underlying borderline personality disorder and as her depression worsened, she was "using meth so she could carry out the functions of daily living".