Modbury mother admits killing her two-year-old son
A mother has admitted killing her two-year-old son.
Angela Vane, aged 40, was sectioned under the Mental Health Act at Plymouth Crown Court yesterday, after admitting to the manslaughter of her son Shaun O'Neill, also known as Shaun Vane.
Shaun's body was found by police on his mother's bed with a neck tie bound tightly around his neck and a stab wound to his abdomen, the court heard.
Vane, of Champernowne in Modbury, Devon, had been charged with murder. The Crown accepted her not guilty plea to that charge, but she admitted manslaughter with diminished responsibility.
Vane has two other children, her son Lee, who is 23 years old and her daughter Lucy, who is 21 years old.
Martin Meeke QC, for the Crown Prosecution Service, said: "If I may say so they are a credit to her."
Mr Meeke told the court how Vane met Shaun's father Ryan O'Neill in 1999 and began living with him. They separated in 2006, got back together in 2009 and had Shaun on May 17, 2010.
Their relationship ended six months later in October 2010 and Shaun lived with Vane in Champernowne.
The court heard how Vane was admitted to the Glenbourne mental health unit in March 2011 for three weeks and Shaun was taken into care, which preyed on Vane's mind.
Vane suffered with delusions and thought Mr O'Neill was spying on her and shining laser beams on her home, the court was told.
The court heard how police were called to the house on numerous occasions.
On January 19 at 8am Vane was found on the route to Ivybridge Police Station by a passer-by.
The court heard how she told him she was in trouble and had killed her baby. She then repeated that to the police. The court heard how Vane told a sergeant: "I tried to strangle him, it went on for ages. I thought if I put a knife in his chest it would go through his heart."
The officer was taken aback by her comments and on hearing of her arrest for murder she replied: "You said it was murder, could it be manslaughter with diminished responsibility?"
The Crown accepted the charge of manslaughter with diminished responsibility and that Vane suffers with paranoid schizophrenia.
Judge Graham Cottle said: "You have pleaded guilty to manslaughter of your very young child. This is an unimaginably tragic case. It is clear you were very unwell when you took your child's life. No-one has any criticism of you as a mother.
"You have two older children whose response to this tragedy has been of compassion and understanding.
"You were clearly extremely unwell at the time suffering from paranoid schizophrenia and the nature of your illness requires you to be detained in hospital."