Mother who drowned baby walks free

December 6, 2004 - 5:18PM

Leanne Azzopardi pleaded guilty to one count of infanticide.

Leanne Azzopardi pleaded guilty to one count of infanticide.
Photo: ABC

A mother who drowned her five-week-old baby in the bath while suffering from post-natal depression today walked free from court on an 18-month community based order.

Leanne Michelle Azzopadi, 32, had pleaded guilty to infanticide.

The Supreme Court heard that the baby, Jade Azzopadi, was found floating in the bath on July 18 last year at the family home in Caroline Springs, in Melbourne's outer west.

Azzopadi at first made up a story, saying the house had been broken into by an intruder who had bound and gagged her and then killed her child.

However, she later made a full confession.

Mrs Azzopadi's barrister, Duncan Allen, said she had caused the death of her child while her mind was disturbed.

She was depressed, exhausted and "plagued by an oppressive sense of hopelessness," Mr Allen said.

He said that because of a history of medical problems, Mrs Azzopadi had not been expected to conceive.

However, when she did become pregnant, and the baby was born, the family described her as the "miracle baby".

Today in sentencing, Justice Murray Kellam said the mitigating factors were overwhelming and the case was one which called for mercy.

The interests of the community would not be served by sending Azzopadi to jail, he said.

He ordered Azzopadi continue psychiatric treatment.