The Abbotsford Law Courts (John Morrow/Abbotsford News)

The Abbotsford Law Courts (John Morrow/Abbotsford News)

Woman charged with infanticide in death of her baby in Abbotsford

Homicide team investigated after infant died in May 2021

A woman has been charged in relation to the death of her baby daughter in Abbotsford in 2021.

According to court records, the 33-year-old woman has been charged with infanticide. The date of the alleged offence is listed as May 24, 2021.

The Abbotsford News has chosen not to publish the woman’s name at this time in order to protect the identity of the child and the family.

Under the Criminal Code of Canada, “a female person commits infanticide when by a wilful act or omission she causes the death of her newly-born child, if at the time of the act or omission she is not fully recovered from the effects of giving birth … or of the effect of lactation.”

Infanticide is considered a lesser crime than homicide and is punishable by a maximum prison term of five years.

The Integrated Homicide Investigation Team, which investigated the incident, has not responded to a request by The Abbotsford News for the age of the baby at the time of her death and any other information they could release about the case.

But a source told The News in December, before the woman was charged, that the baby who died was a one-month-old female.

In 2019, a Charlottetown woman, Shannon Dawn Rayner, pleaded guilty to three counts of infanticide and received a six-year jail term. She was initially charged after two babies she birthed were disposed of in a waste bin. The remains of a third infant were found later.

A lawyer speaking about the case at the time Rayner was charged said infanticide is an “extremely rare charge.”

ALSO SEE: Woman pleads guilty to causing the deaths of two infants in P.E.I.

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