An Italian mother suffocated her two-month-old daughter and dumped the body in a public bin after hearing voices telling her to end the child’s suffering, the Old Bailey heard today.
Federica Boscolo-Gnolo, 32, killed her daughter Farah after flying into Gatwick airport and checking into a hotel in Fulham.
The baby had been born with a defect in one eye that could have led to partial blindness, the court heard, and Boscolo-Gnolo’s relationship with Farah’s father had fallen apart.
The mother kept her baby’s body in a suitcase in her hotel for a day after killing her, then disposed of it in a bin near to Russell Square, she later admitted to doctors.
She sobbed in the dock as details of the killing were laid out in court for the first time.
Boscolo-Gnolo, a receptionist originally from Chioggia in Italy, has admitted manslaughter by diminished responsibility, and faces being detained in a mental hospital indefinitely when she is sentenced later.
“She heard voices during the course of the evening speaking with threats, they were in English, they were male and she began to feel a good deal more hopeless”, said prosecutor Mark Heywood QC.
He said she admitted to a psychiatrist: “I was feeling exhausted, hopeless, I realised there was no reason for Farah to suffer.”
Mr Heywood said Boscolo-Gnolo believed she had “no option but to save her and prevent her future suffering, it felt like a positive step.
“She took a pillow and put it over her face for a few seconds, then she took it off and thought ‘what the hell am I doing’.”
However, he said Boscolo-Gnolo was then overtaken by an “overpowering feeling and couldn’t bear the thought of Farah suffering”, and put the pillow over her face again until she stopped moving.
The court heard Boscolo-Gnolo had moved to the UK in 2012 and had a short-lived affair with a man that led to Farah being born.
The baby, born in Italy, had an abnormal eyeball, and though her appearance could have been corrected with surgery, the eye make have stopped working in the future, the court heard.
Boscolo-Gnolo’s relationship had broken down with the father by January 24 2014, when she fled her family home in Italy to fly to England.
She checked into the Lily Hotel near Earls Court on Saturday January 24 with her daughter and a few possessions.
Mr Heywood said the baby was healthy when last seen in Italy, and her parents described Boscolo-Gnolo as “attentive and caring” as a mother.
A picture of Farah alive and well was taken in the hotel room the following day, but it is believed she was killed that same evening.
Mr Heywood said Boscolo-Gnolo then checked herself into a different hotel, before returning to the Lily Hotel with cleaning products, gloves, a new suitcase, and a roll of bin liners.
She was then captured on CCTV leaving with a suitcase, before heading to parts of London she was familiar with.
“It appears she took the opportunity while in the Russell Square area to dispose of Farah’s body in a bin at the rear of some premises”, said the prosecutor.
“Neither the bin nor Farah’s body have ever been properly identified.”
She was sentenced to an indefinite hospital order by the Recorder of London Nicholas Hilliard QC.
via Evening Standard