Army wife mum-of-five who murdered newborn son and dumped his body in wood is jailed for life

THE wife of a British soldier has been jailed for life after she was convicted of murdering her newborn baby and leaving his body in the woods.

Silipa Keresi, who has four other children, had requested a termination months before tiny Maliki arrived – but was told it was too late.

Army wife mum-of-five who murdered newborn son and dumped his body in wood is jailed for life

A mum has been jailed for life for the murder of her baby son Credit: Solent

Army wife mum-of-five who murdered newborn son and dumped his body in wood is jailed for life

Silipa Keresi was captured on CCTV carrying the little one's body to woodland in Hampshire Credit: Solent

She was captured on camera in the early hours of the morning carrying the tot's lifeless body from the Hampshire hotel where she and her family were living.

A dog walker found the little one wrapped carefully in a towel with his umbilical cord still attached 30 hours later.

Keresi, 38, denied charges of murder and infanticide. However, this week she was convicted following a trial at Winchester Crown Court.

Keresi wept as she was today sentenced to a minimum of nine years in prison at Winchester Crown Court, Hants.

Mr Justice Neil Garnham told the mother of four her newborn was “exposed, defenceless and abandoned” when she left him to die but he did not consider her a danger to other children.

He said: “Yours was not a happy marriage. You had been subject to acts of violence by your husband.

“Your husband's assaults on you forced him to leave the army, and your status in this country then became precarious.

“You denied your pregnancy to others and I accept that for a significant time you denied it to yourself and pretended it was not happening.

“You left the hotel carrying a single towel and walked into the countryside. A short time later you gave birth to Maliki by the side of the road.

“You pulled the cord from your own body. You then wrapped him in a white towel and took him into the woods where you deposited your son by the foot of a tree.

“Over the next few hours he developed hypothermia and died; exposed, defenceless and abandoned.

“Abandoning your son was a truly reckless thing to do. In my verdict, leaving a vulnerable baby [beside] a tree without reporting the birth was the very essence of this case.

“I have no doubt you feel genuine remorse – your evidence in this trial suggests regret… you could have expected no support from your husband.

“I sentence you to life imprisonment with a minimum term of nine years.”

James Newton-Price QC, defending, had told today's hearing: “This was an act of desperation by Mrs Keresi in the circumstances she found herself in.

“Her words that she 'snapped' or 'lost it' are, in my submission, a fair reflection of her feelings.

“She didn't know quite what to do. If it had come at a different time of day we would never be in this situation.

“It came at a time when she was alone.”

During the two-week trial jurors had heard she was the victim of domestic violence.

She told the court that her life had been “hell for the past couple of years” with her family being homeless while living in a small hotel room, surviving on contributions from a food bank.

The court also heard she was the victim of domestic violence since 2008 from her husband, Dharma Keresi, who used to hit her and beat her with his army belt.

'LIVING IN HELL'

Mr Keresi beat her with his army belt, it was alleged.

The alleged assaults led to Mr Keresi being told by the Army to resign in 2017 or face disciplinary proceedings.

Keresi, who has four other children, told the jury: “I felt my life was just chaos.”

The family had been moved into the hotel in Hamble after they were made homeless.

The court heard they were relying on handouts from food banks.

The trial was told she found out that she was pregnant when it was too late to legally have an abortion.

Prosecutor Kerry Maylin QC said Keresi had tried to be a good mother, but “snapped” when Maliki was born.

Midwives and GPs had repeatedly tried to contact Keresi during her pregnancy after she first asked for an abortion, it was said.

“She had thought she was about 12 weeks pregnant, but results indicated she was 26 weeks and five days pregnant – over the gestation date limit for a lawful termination,” Ms Maylin said.

The defendant “became shocked and visibly uncomfortable” when she heard she couldn't terminate the pregnancy, and attempted to leave.

Keresi gave birth to Maliki in March 2020.

HORROR DISCOVERY

She was seen leaving her accommodation just before 5am with the baby wrapped in a white blanket.

The baby's body was found more than a full day later by a walker who initially believed he was an animal, but then spotted a towel wrapped in blood.

A post-mortem showed that the newborn had breathed following birth and would have suffered from hypothermia, the court heard.

The autopsy found he had no abnormalities or injuries and the cause of death was given as “omission of care”.

Following her arrest, Keresi was interviewed by a social worker and admitted she'd been under “pressure”.

During the conversation, the “distressed” mum wept and admitted she was concerned about her immigration status, it was heard.

And she told the court: “I felt my life was just chaos.”

Ms Maylin said Keresi had “tried to keep things good for her family”, but was in a “bad situation”.

“She had also filled out an incorrect immigration form, and in order for her to remain in the UK, she had to pay a fine she couldn't afford,” the prosecutor said.

“She said she tried to be a good mother but snapped. When asked what she meant she said, 'God understands'.”

Army wife mum-of-five who murdered newborn son and dumped his body in wood is jailed for life

Little Maliki was found more than 30 hours later by a dog walker Credit: Solent

Army wife mum-of-five who murdered newborn son and dumped his body in wood is jailed for life

The baby had been carefully wrapped in a towel. His umbilical cord was still attached Credit: Solent

Army wife mum-of-five who murdered newborn son and dumped his body in wood is jailed for life

Keresi told a court she'd been going through 'hell' since her husband left the army Credit: Solent

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