Drunk mother whose seven-week-old baby daughter died when she fell asleep avoids jail

Stacey Atkinson was given a suspended prison sentence (Picture: Facebook)

A drunk mother whose seven-week-old baby daughter died when she fell asleep holding her on a sofa has avoided jail.

Stacey Atkinson, 30, admitted wilfully neglecting Chloe Atkinson Wilkie, causing unnecessary suffering or injury to health.

At Liverpool Crown Court on Friday, Judge Andrew Menary QC said society demanded a prison sentence, but it would be suspended.

Atkinson, from St Helens, Merseyside, who has since given birth to another daughter, was given a 12-month sentence that is suspended for 12 months.

Judge Menary told her: “You have suffered a terrible punishment with the reality of what you did.

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“I have no doubt you’re truly remorseful for what you have done and have learned from this bitter experience.

“The authorities have investigated this matter and are perfectly satisfied you and your partner in all other respects are loving, caring and perfectly capable parents.”

The court heard Atkinson, who has two other daughters, aged 10 and 13, found that Chloe wasn’t responsive after she woke three hours after falling asleep on the sofa of her home, after having drank half a bottle of vodka.

Her lawyer, Laura Tipping, told the court: “She will carry the guilt for the rest of her life that Chloe trusted her and she let her down.”

Atkinson called the emergency services and tried to resuscitate her child while waiting for them to arrive on November 17, 2016. However, Chloe was pronounced dead a short time later.

A post-mortem examination found Atkinson “had fallen asleep and rolled on top of the baby who became trapped underneath her, possibly facing the cushion on the sofa”.