Mother who suffocated baby in drunken sleep jailed

Posted at 05/30/12 11:20 AM

WELLINGTON - A New Zealand woman who accidentally smothered her baby as she cradled him while sleeping off the effects of a drinking binge was jailed for more than two years Wednesday, reports said.

Rotorua High Court was told that in January 2010 Ngaire Kura Tukiwaho went on a 12-hour drinking session then fell asleep in the back seat of a car after laying her two-month-old son Tahi Elvis Edwards across her chest.

When she awoke, the 31-year-old found the baby had slipped under her armpit and was blue and unresponsive, the New Zealand Herald reported. Paramedics were unable to revive the child.

Tukiwaho pleaded guilty to manslaughter earlier this month and had accepted the death was preventable, the New Zealand Newswire reported.

It said judge Graham Lang sentenced her to two years and one month in jail, finding she had failed her son completely and did not take basic steps to ensure his safety.

"He trusted you for his security and you failed to provide him with it and the price he paid was his death," the judge said.

© 1994-2012 Agence France-Presse