I was so desperately sad when I read this article on the Telegraph website today...............
"Julia Lovemore, 41, a Christian fundamentalist with bi-polar disorder, was even visited by mental health workers on the day she killed six week-old Faith, Cambridge Crown Court was told.
But after finding her husband, Faith’s father in a “psychotic” state, they left for help without checking if the baby or her mother were in danger. The court heard that Faith was probably already dead at that stage.
Both Faith and her older sister Angel were deemed “at risk” by social services in 2006, due to their mother’s mental illness and extreme religious views, which were shared by her 39 year-old husband David, a computer designer, the court heard.
Officials admitted they had failed to properly supervise Lovemore, of Milton, near Cambridge, Cambs..
A Serious Case Review, published after Wednesday's court hearing, criticised Cambridgeshire County Council, local police and NHS trusts for a series of failings.
It found they failed to properly understand the gravity of the situation or how the couple’s extreme religious beliefs fuelled their mental health problems.
The report called for monitoring programmes and record keeping be overhauled after it found a relative had contacted authorities in 2008 with concerns about the couple’s religious views and increasing isolation.
Earlier, John Farmer, prosecuting, told the court that Lovemore, who had mental health problems since her mid 20s, killed Faith on June 17 last year while in a "florid state of psychoses".
He said she ripped out pages from the Bible out of “frustration”, stuffed them into her child’s mouth, sat on her, bounced up and down and smothered her to death.
“Profound mental ill health and engagement with religious beliefs turned out to be an explosive cocktail,” Mr Farmer said.
The court heard that Rebecca Hughes, a community psychiatric nurse and Joetta Fox, a health visitor visited the couple’s home during a pre-arranged visit shortly after the child died.
They found Mr Lovemore in a “psychotic” state, praying loudly and shouting "Take the Devil out of Julia". He refused to answer questions. The pair were left disturbed and left to get help without checking on Lovemore or her baby.
“Unfortunately, neither of them sought to see (Lovemore) and the best interpretation of events is that by then Faith was dead or dying because there would be no other reason why the husband of the defendant was so intensely engaged in prayer,” Mr Farmer said.
Mr Lovemore then carried the child’s lifeless body to a local GP surgery. He was accompanied by his eldest daughter who had been doused in white spirits but was otherwise unharmed.
At a meeting in early June 2009, when it was deemed both children, should remain on the "at risk" register, Mr Lovemore was described as "quiet and bland".
Mr Farmer added: "During the meeting when he was asked what he would do if Faith or her sister got into difficulty he said he would pray first. He never said yes or no to calling a doctor."
Frances Oldham, QC, defending Lovemore, told the court it was a “tragedy that could have been avoided”.
"In our submission that was a tragedy but given the history here of not only Julia Lovemore but also her husband, the father of the baby, it was a tragedy that could have been avoided," she said.
Lovemore's aunt, who was in court, had reported her to authorities after becoming concerned over her "religious fervour", she said. She had distanced herself from her family, branding them "heathens".
Mrs Oldham said other indicators included a phone call from Lovemore to her health visitor saying she no longer wanted the authorities involved with the family.
The barrister said that after the visit on June 17 when Mr Lovemore was behaving strangely:
"There was no procedure in place for these to call immediately for assistance and the children were effectively left in the home."
In a statement to police at least a month after her arrest, Lovemore could not explain how it occured.
"I sat in my bedroom and I was ripping pages out of my Bible. I put some small bits of paper in Faith's mouth and she spat them out," she told officers.
"For some reason I sat on her, I was crying. I was bouncing on the bed. I don't know why I was sitting on her. I got bi-polar."
Lovemore was detained under the Mental Health Act after earlier admitting manslaughter due to diminished responsibility.
In sentencing her Mr Justice Jeremy Cooke said her bi-polar disorder meant she suffered from grandiose delusions of special powers, religious delusions of identity and auditory hallucinations.
"You were profoundly mentally disordered which subsequently impaired the responsibility for what you did,” he said.
Her husband was originally charged with allowing Faith's death but prosecutors in April offered no evidence and he was subsequently found not guilty at trial.
Outside court, Cambridgeshire Local Safeguarding Children Board Vice Chairman, Gordon Jeyes, said: "The death of any child is a tragedy and we are deeply upset and saddened by what has happened.
"The circumstances around this death were exceptional. There were complex issues within the family around mental health, and the practice of their religious beliefs.”
He said while the report highlighted the fact that agencies worked together he admitted the couple’s mental illness “and the way they chose to practice their religious beliefs was not sufficiently understood”.
Cambridgeshire police said prosecuting the case had been a "long and complex" undertaking.
"This was a tragic case which saw a young life ended deliberately,” said Detective Superintendent Dan Vajzovic:
"Every child has the right to be protected and feel safe in their own home and it is a parent's responsibility to ensure this is the case.” "