A young woman originally charged with murdering her baby could stand trial on a charge of infanticide of the newborn, a judge has found.
The baby, thought to be less than a day old, was found dead in the back yard of a Taita, Lower Hutt, house on September 8 last year.
The mother, now 22, was charged with murder.
A judge in the High Court at Wellington has recently had to decide whether she should avoid standing trial for mental health reasons.
Justice Stephen Kos has allowed a small part of his reasons to be published.
He said her circumstances were deeply tragic, she had not known she was pregnant until she went into labour, and there was a history of abuse.
She also alleged that she entrusted the baby to her adoptive father.
Although she was originally charged with murder the judge's decision on whether she is fit to stand trial relates to a charge of infanticide, although the woman does not yet formally face that charge.
The woman's identity is suppressed.
Murder is an intentional killing or a death caused when the offender means to cause an injury that the offender knows is likely to cause death and recklessly goes ahead anyway.
Infanticide is a woman causing the death of her child when "the balance of her mind was disturbed" for reasons relating to childbirth or lactation.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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