Mother cleared of killing baby fights for daughter

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By Matilda Sutton

 

A MOTHER cleared of killing her baby is now fighting for access to a daughter who was taken into care.

Jennifer Liehne, 47, was jailed in 2006 for suffocating her seven-month-old daughter, Jacqueline, at a flat in Edinburgh.

Her daughter, who was just 18 months old at the time, was taken into care as a newborn and Ms Liehne, who was freed in May, has not seen her since.

She said she went through hell in Cornton Vale Prison where inmates and staff branded her a baby killer.

She was met with a similar response from neighbours on her release who do not believe she is innocent, and is planning to move to England.

She said:

“It was absolute hell in prison. I was called an evil baby killer by the prisoners and the staff. I was never attacked physically but had verbal bullying all the time.

“People point at me in the street and still think I’m guilty. I want to go somewhere and make a clean start. “

After the long legal battle, Ms Liehne said she wanted to get in touch with her youngest daughter, who was taken into care straight after birth by the city council.

She said:

“I want to try and get access to her back again, so I’ll be speaking to my lawyer about trying to do that. “

Ms Liehne was convicted based on doctors’ evidence from the city’s Royal Hospital for Sick Children who said they suspected she had been deliberately harming Jacqueline to get attention.

She said:

“I blame the hospital. If they had been looking for what was wrong with Jacqueline instead of concentrating on me then she might still be alive today.

“They were too busy thinking I was harming her. My 25-year-old daughter has suffered from epilepsy all her life.

“She used to turn blue like Jacqueline did so I think Jacqueline might have been epileptic too. “

Ms Liehne said she also blamed the Edinburgh council because they did not believe her and took away her youngest daughter

A city council spokesman said:

“It would be inappropriate to discuss this case. However, we only ever take children into care when there is a serious risk to their wellbeing. “

 

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