A BINGE-DRINKING mum whose four-month-old son died after she took him clubbing before falling asleep on him has been freed from jail on appeal.
Marina Tilby, 26, was so drunk it took more than an hour for her to be woken up after her baby Darrian was rushed to hospital.
But she was freed from prison after judges at the Court of Appeal, in London, reduced her initial jail sentence of two years and four months to 16 months suspended after she showed genuine remorse over her son’s death.
The court had previously heard how the mum took her little boy when she went out drinking in March 2017.
The mum downed Guinness as she danced with the baby, throwing him in the air and catching him.
But the night out in Ceredigion, Wales, turned to tragedy when the drunk mum then fell asleep next to her son on a double bed in their caravan in New Quay.
Tilby was later found by her sister lying on top of Darrian, who was unresponsive with blood on his nose.
Darrian was rushed to Bronglais hospital but tragically died – with it taking more than an hour for Tilby to be woken up.
It is a mother’s responsibility, a mother’s duty, and her natural instinct to put the care and safety of her four-week old child above all else
Judge Paul Thomas
The mum, of Aberaeron, Ceredigion, Wales, was jailed for two years and four months at Swansea Crown Court in June after admitting child cruelty through wilful neglect.
As she was jailed in June, Judge Paul Thomas told her she had shown “deliberate disregard” for her son’s welfare.
He said: “It is a mother’s responsibility, a mother’s duty, and her natural instinct to put the care and safety of her four-week old child above all else.
“You completely ignored that duty so you could get extremely drunk on a night out.”
Medical evidence was unable to rule out the possibility Darrian’s death was caused by sudden infant death syndrome before Tilby had rolled onto him.
‘SHE MADE A TERRIBLE, TERRIBLE MISTAKE’
But on Tuesday, Tilby’s barrister, Dyfed Thomas, told the Court of Appeal, in London that her sentence was too long and could have been suspended in the circumstances of the case.
He said: “This young woman made a terrible, terrible mistake of becoming so drunk she couldn’t respond to her child’s needs.”
Allowing her appeal, Mr Justice Fraser said the original sentence was “manifestly excessive” in light of her genuine remorse and her own suffering.
The judge said psychological reports made it clear that Darrian’s death had a “significant impact” on Tilby’s mental health and she had suffered a “deep depression”.
He said the tragedy had unfolded after “one evening of neglect involving a lapse of judgment”, rather than a prolonged period.
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He also said the baby boy had been “otherwise well-cared for”, adding it was a “very tragic case.”
Mr Justice Fraser said a victim impact statement from the baby’s father, who was not in a relationship with Tilby at the time of his death but wanted to play a part in his upbringing, made it clear he would have looked after his son on the night in question if he had been asked.
The court ordered Tilby to undergo supervision by the Probation Service for one year.
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