A 23-year-old woman who put her baby in a toilet bin after giving birth, leading to the infant’s death, has been found guilty of manslaughter and neglect, receiving a jail sentence of three months.
Caitlin Corcoran, of Castleblaney, Mullinvat, Co Kilkenny, was just 19-years-old at the time of her daughter’s birth. As reported by Independent.ie, the court learned that Ms Corcoran was in a constant state of denial throughout her pregnancy, a coping mechanism she used when being bullied as an adolescent.
This denial continued even as she was giving birth in a toilet cubicle at Caredoc in Co. Waterford, citing severe back pain and constipation as the reason why she was seeking medical care.
After giving birth in the toilet cubicle, Ms Corcoran is said to have placed the newborn baby in a bin before returning to the doctor’s office without saying a word of the incident.
A number of hours after Ms Corcoran gave birth, a deceased full-term baby girl was found in a bin at the medical centre.
“I was in such a state of denial that night. I am living with the consequences everyday and will be as long as I live,” Ms Corcoran wrote in a letter to the court, adding, “I deeply regret what happened and wish things could have turned out differently.”
Deciding upon her sentencing, Justice Eugene O'Kelly said the appropriate amount of time to serve for manslaughter and child neglect would be four years each, to run consecutively. However, he reduced each sentence by nine months, meaning that Ms Corcoran would only need to serve a jail sentence of three years and three months. Three years of each would be suspended.
Justice O’Kelly said it was a “rare and exceptional case”, before asking, “does society benefit” from her serving the jail sentence in full.