A Melbourne mum who pleaded guilty to smothering her infant daughter has walked free


A Melbourne mother who admitted to smothering her infant daughter and dumping her body in a creek as walked free from court.

Sofina Nikat pleaded guilty to the horrific crime in September and was sentenced to a 12-month community corrections order yesterday. 

‘Your pre-sentence custody of 529 days is, on any view, a period long in excess of any sentence of imprisonment I would have considered imposing on you,’ Victorian Supreme Court Justice Lex Lasry said.

The charges were downgraded from murder to infanticide – the intentional killing of an infant – earlier this year, which carries a maximum of five years in jail. 

Nikat was reportedly suffering from depression when she suffocated her 15-month-old, Sanaya Sahib, in April last year. 

Justice Lasry described her death as a ‘tragedy for you and everyone connected with your family.’

The complexity of the mental state of some women after child birth and for some time thereafter is not to be underestimated, particularly when it is made more difficult by the surrounding circumstances which occurred in your case,’ he said.

The court heard Nikat had left her husband, who she wed in an arranged marriage, before Sanaya’s death and had been living in a women’s shelter.

Sanay’s aunt, Zahraa Sahib, said the family were disappointed and upset by the outcome.

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