Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Mother Smothered Son, 3, but Murder Verdict Is Quashed

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Mother Smothered Son, 3, but Murder Verdict Is Quashed

Article excerpt

Byline: Paul Cheston Courts Correspondent

A MOTHER jailed for smothering her three-year-old son with a pillow has had her murder conviction quashed after the Appeal Court ruled it could not be sure she intended to kill the child.

Three judges allowed an appeal by Tara Haigh and substituted a verdict of manslaughter. The ruling follows several high-profile cases but Haigh's murder conviction was only overturned on the grounds of intent. Haigh, 24, was found guilty by a 10-2 majority at the Old Bailey of murdering her son Billy at their home in Guildford, in November 2005. She was jailed for life with a minimum of 10 years.

Lord Justice Dyson, sitting with Mrs Justice Swift and Mr Justice Sweeney, has now ruled that the murder conviction was "unsafe". She will remain in custody until she is sentenced again.

In her trial, the Old Bailey jury was told that Haigh had started trying to find a boyfriend on the website Girls Date Free within hours of suffocating the boy. …

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