A counter petition has been set up arguing that a Lincolnshire mum should remain in jail after trying to kill herself and her two-year-old son.
The mother, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was jailed for four years after pleading guilty to the attempted murder of her son in their South Lincolnshire home on May 7 this year.
The mum also attempted suicide because of fears the boy’s father would resume contact when lockdown came to an end — but after a sudden change of heart she instead rang for help before telling nurses at hospitals what she had done.
Over 1,000 people have signed a petition set up by Kirsty Smith to free the Lincolnshire mum from jail and assist with mental health support instead. By the time of publication the petition on change.org has been signed by 1,072 people.
However, a counter petition has been set up by Robert Johnson who told The Lincolnite: “I don’t think mental health should be used as a get out clause for prison time.
“She tried to kill herself, but no-one has the right to take a baby’s life. She doesn’t need freeing.
“If she doesn’t get locked up in prison then she needs to be sent to a psychiatric hospital for help and never under any circumstances be reunited with that child.
“Some of the comments on the original post state ‘if this was a man the (first) petition wouldn’t even exist’, so let’s be fair, if she needs help send her to get help, not freed.
“Mental health issues is still not an excuse to kill a baby and for those saying ‘reunite them’, shall we do the same for every freed rapist and their victims or even paedophiles? If your logic doesn’t work for all then it doesn’t work.”
At the time of publication, Robert’s petition has three signatures.
Court case recap
The court was told the woman was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder in 2019, brought on after years of abuse and domestic violence by the child’s father, which caused her to act this way.
Her solicitor said the relationship with the father was an abusive one, with threats of violence, harassment and sexual violence. After breaking up, she lived in a refuge for a time.
Before lockdown the father was spending supervised time with the boy, which was then interrupted by the nationwide house curfew, and was only relaxed from June.
But in May 2020 she believed that as lockdown eased, the time the father spent with the boy would resume — so her desperate act stemmed from there.
She told nurses at Peterborough City Hospital that she wanted to take her own life and take her son with her, but she was scared that nobody would look after him.
She said she wanted to kill herself as she was scared and worried about the boy’s dad, but when the boy started to cry she couldn’t go on with it.
The court heard the woman took responsibility for what she did and has since shown remorse.