Mother allegedly caught smothering baby on video

October 22, 2004 - 7:52AM

A young mother accused of murdering her baby will appear in Brisbane Magistrates Court today.

The 21-year-old woman from Beenleigh, south of Brisbane, was charged with the baby's murder yesterday after allegedly being caught on videotape smothering the child to death in his hospital bed.

The boy had been in Brisbane's Mater Children's Hospital since September 27 after doctors suspected he was being abused.

Police yesterday took possession of hospital video surveillance tapes and will allege he was smothered to death.

The baby was placed on a monitoring regime in the hospital's intensive care unit when he was admitted three weeks ago.

Doctors were not able to diagnose the cause of the baby's illness but suspected he was being abused.

"The cause of the infant's illness was not known but there was a suspicion that it may have been caused through human intervention," a police spokesman said.

The baby died in the early hours of yesterday morning.

Police said hospital staff had resuscitated the baby about 11.30pm (AEST) Wednesday when he was found not breathing.

About an hour later, he was found suffering from another hypoxic episode and could not be revived.

The Mater Children's Hospital and Queensland Health yesterday refused to comment.

The baby, aged eight-and-a-half months, was not in the care of the Department of Child Safety at the time of his death.