Mum admits twice strangling her baby boy to death in hospital mental health unit

A mum has admitted killing her five-month-old son after strangling him twice at an NHS hospital's mental health unit.

Samantha Pink, 39, admitted the manslaughter through diminished responsibility of Conor Young at the Royal Derby Hospital.

A court heard she had recently tried to take her own life before being admitted to a mental health unit for new and expectant mothers, DerbyshireLive reports.

Pink was remanded in custody for sentencing after her guilty plea to manslaughter and not guilty to murder were accepted by Justice Baker at Nottingham Crown Court.

Prosecutor Mary Prior QC said: "There are two psychiatric reports which have been prepared and both come to the same conclusion that Miss Pink’s ability to form a rational judgement on the act were diminished as a result of her mental health difficulties.

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"Miss Pink has a long history of mental health difficulties, in particular, bipolar disorder and shortly before the last admittance to The Beeches (part of the Radbourne Unit at the Royal Derby Hospital) she had uncharacteristically made an attempt on her own life."

She added: "It is plain she understood the nature of the act she was doing and I don’t think this is a lack of control case because she was able to stop the first of the two attempts at strangulation but not the second of the two."

Conor and Pink were staying at The Beeches perinatal mental health unit, part of the hospital's Radbourne Unit, when he was found unresponsive, his inquest at Derby Coroner's Court heard.

Police received a call from East Midlands Ambulance Service at around 12.15am on Sunday, July 12 "stating that they had attended at The Beeches and were performing CPR on a baby".

Conor was then taken to the children's emergency department at the Royal Derby Hospital where he later died.

Mr Justice Baker said: "There will be a sentencing hearing on December 16 and obviously I will adjourn until then so that further reports can be provided.

"That does not give any indication of the likely nature of the sentence on the next occasion.“That will include all of the various options including custody.

"Do you understand?"

Pink replied: "I understand."

NHS Derbyshire Healthcare Foundation Trust's website describes the Beeches as "formerly the Mother and Baby Unit, is an award-winning self-contained specialised inpatient unit based at the Radbourne Unit, on the Royal Derby Hospital site.

"It can accommodate up to six mothers with their babies.

"Women can be admitted from 32 weeks antenatally or postnatally with their babies up to the age of nine months, but in exceptional circumstances, up to one year."

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