Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Court Quashes Murder Verdict of Mother Who Smothered Son, Three

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Court Quashes Murder Verdict of Mother Who Smothered Son, Three

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. At the Old Bailey in 2008, Haigh, then 24, was found guilty of murdering her son Billy at their home in Guildford. She was jailed for life with a minimum of 10 years.

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

At Haigh's trial, the jury had been told she had started trying to find a boyfriend on the website Girls Date Free within hours of suffocating the child in November 2005. …

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