Shamed mum left dead baby in pal's garden

Kim Pilling

A woman who placed the body of her newborn baby in her friend's garden has walked free from court.

Fatima Ali (26) kept the out-of-wedlock birth a secret from her family and friends.

The baby girl died within two hours of her cutting its umbilical cord in her bedroom.

The shop manager then left the body in the house to go out with her family before she disposed of it on the way to work the following morning as she "sought to keep it her secret... forever".

Named Aliyah by police, meaning beautiful in Arabic, the baby was found wrapped in a shawl in the corner of a garden in Bury, Greater Manchester, in September 2010.

Fatima Ali pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to endeavouring to conceal the birth of a child and cruelty to a person under 16.

The offence of cruelty related to the defendant not seeking prompt medical attention when the baby was born. A post-mortem examination could not determine the cause of death.


Sentencing her to 26 weeks in jail, suspended for two years, the judge said: "The tragedy that followed is of 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 is no evidence that you ill-treated or assaulted the child and it is still a mystery perhaps as to the course of action you took following her birth.

"It is evident that you have suffered from psychological stress and trauma for a number of years.

"At the time of these offences your decision making and thought processes would have been compromised, according to the medical reports on you."

The defendant began a relationship with a man in 2007 which was deemed "unacceptable" by her family.

When she later became pregnant it appeared that the man had agreed to pay for an abortion, but ultimately Ali did not go through with it.

She kept the pregnancy a secret from her family who so disapproved of her lover that they reported her as missing at one point as they believed she had been kidnapped by him.