'Terrified' Muslim mom convicted of leaving her newborn child to die
Young woman living in U.K. thought that having child out of wedlock would bring shame to her family
A Muslim mother living in the U.K. has been convicted of leaving her
illegitimate newborn child to die unattended in the bedroom where she
gave birth. The mother, Fatima Ali feared that she would bring shame to
her devout Muslim family by having a child out of wedlock.
Fatima Ali burst into tears at Bolton Crown Court when she was given a 26-week prison sentence, suspended for two years, and subjected to a twelve month supervision order.
After giving birth to the infant - alone her bedroom in Bury, Greater Manchester, Ali cut the umbilical chord and left it to die.
Ali burst into tears at Bolton Crown Court when she was given a 26-week prison sentence, suspended for two years, and subjected to a twelve month supervision order.
Sentencing, Judge John Appleby said, "You failed to seek medical assistance following the birth of your daughter.
"The tragedy that followed is at the immense disaster for this child. She died within two hours of her birth, and, had you acted appropriately, her life could have been saved.
"There's no evidence that you ill-treated or assaulted the child and it's still a mystery perhaps as to the course of action you took following her birth.
"This is a tragedy and the result of your actions will be with you for the rest of your life."
During court proceedings, it was learned that Fatima lived with her aunt and uncle. Her family had disapproved of her relationship with her boyfriend and when she had fallen pregnant, he had given her money to have an abortion in Birmingham in 2009.
Nazir Afzal, Greater Manchester Chief Crown Prosecutor said: "Whatever the community or familial dishonor or shame, real or perceived, that Ali may have felt, it did not justify the tragic death of the most vulnerable victim, a new born baby boy or girl.
"Life is a precious thing and not something to be thrown away in a nearby garden."
Ali's attorney Lisa Roberts said her client had made a bad decision and was still physically and emotionally in shock for some time after the birth.
Roberts said that having been raised by her aunt; she effectively had two families to disobey by having a baby out of wedlock due to their culture.
"She went out with her family that same evening. What else was she to do? She had concealed her pregnancy from those she was closest," Roberts said.
"It was a bit late to be telling them, having given birth in her bedroom, to say she was unable to go out."
"She has genuine remorse and genuine understanding of what she has done and why she has done it," Roberts said, adding it was hard to imagine the circumstances which Fatima faced.
Roberts said Ali realized how foolish she had been getting involved with a man who had promised to marry and support her, but instead left the country.
Her phone revealed numerous texts between the defendant and her partner - who was out the country, one of which included a photograph of the baby.
The court also heard how Fatima's entire family had since been ostracized by community members; not only for what she has done, but also because of the relationship she had out of wedlock.
© 2012, Catholic Online. Distributed by NEWS CONSORTIUM.
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: Muslim, illegitimate child, child murder, U.K.
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