A cannabis-using mum who beat her two-year-old daughter to death with a high-heeled shoe developed schizophrenia and will not face jail, according to a court.
The incident happened when she developed psychological problems at the same time as she started smoking cannabis heavily, a court has heard.
The tragic toddler, identified only by her first name of Destiny, 2, was living together with her mother in a refugee shelter on the Aachner Strasse in the Weiden district of Cologne in Germany.
Pictures Credit: CEN/Chideral M.
The court heard how she had developed schizophrenia.
The court also heard how at the same time as the condition became apparent she started heavily using cannabis.
Many experts warn that frequent cannabis use can be associated with psychosis, as it interacts with other risk factors such as the family history or history of child abuse. The belief is that psychological problems which are otherwise dormant come to the fore once cannabis use starts.
Her baby daughter who was, according to her friends, the centre of her life, and who she loved dearly, had been so violently beaten that her face was almost destroyed. She had also suffered several broken bones.
Medics who turned up at the scene on 9th December last year could only confirm her death from the massive head injuries.
The 31-year-old mother, identified only by her first name and the initial of her surname as Labake M., was living in Germany after fleeing to the country from her home in Nigeria, and has now appeared in court over the attack.
Also present at the court was the baby girl’s father, identified only as Chideral M., who refused to look at his former partner and stared at the floor when she attempted to make eye contact with him.
He had raised the alarm with police when she turned up at his home making no sense in what she was saying and without the child. When he asked where she was, she replied: “She is there, where she belongs.” Later when questioned about the death, she said it was not her fault and it was an accident.
The pair had met each other in Libya in 2015. Labake was a qualified hairdresser and had reportedly left a three-year-old child behind with her then mother-in-law, and was looking to build a new life in Europe. They married when they arrived together in Cologne. But when Destiny was born in November 2016, although admitting he was the father, he ended the relationship and moved in with another woman instead, according to reports.
However the court heard that Labake became a regular cannabis consumer after the relationship end and started to develop psychiatric problems.
She was also under pressure after having her asylum application rejected, although it was put on appeal when she claimed that her previous husband back home had beaten her and threatened to kill her if he saw her again. As a result she was in the refugee shelter with her daughter.
Those who knew the mother said her baby daughter was everything to her, but she was also depressed at the fact that the baby’s father had left her, according to local media.
At the end of the court hearing, Judge Dr Joerg Michael Bern ordered her committed to a psychiatric institution after agreeing with experts that at the time of the killing she was not responsible for her actions.
The local youth protection authorities who were keeping an eye on the mother because of depression were also ruled blameless, because her psychiatric issues had developed so quickly.
Passing sentence, he said: “It is extremely difficult for me. Normally at the end of a court case you find somebody who is responsible. But if you look at this case – you find no one.”
The court heard evidence that she was a loving mother for whom her child was everything until suddenly she developed psychological problems, and everything changed.
The judge added: “Nobody could have seen what would happen. A rapidly developing psychological problem that ended in catastrophe.”
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