Irish woman sentenced to life in prison for stabbing her newborn to death

An Irish woman with a Master’s degree in forensic psychology has just been sentenced to life in prison (without possibility of parole for 20 years) for the murder of her newborn.

Rachel Tunstill stabbed her newborn baby girl, posthumously named Mia Kelly, 14 times with scissors while Tunstill’s boyfriend, Ryan Kelly, played Xbox next door. Somehow, Tunstill hid her pregnancy and led her boyfriend to believe she was still in her first trimester of pregnancy, when in reality, she was nearly full term.

The Irish Mirror reports:

Police were called in after [Tunstill] went to a local hospital for a check up and a nurse found she was still carrying the baby’s umbilical chord.

Tests showed Mia had been born alive but died after being stabbed in the back and neck area….

She insisted she thought was having a miscarriage but didn’t believe Mia to be a full term baby and she said the child showed no signs of life.

She accepted causing the baby’s stab wounds but claimed she could not recall administering them.

Tunstill’s boyfriend told the Mirror that she misled him, claiming she was having a miscarriage in the bathroom. He said, “I knocked on the door twice to see if she wanted anything and she asked for scissors so I gave her those. She said ‘thanks babe’ and I went back to the Xbox and she closed the door. The only time I heard a noise was something that sounded like squeezing air out of a water bottle noise. She was extremely pale and weak so I did suggest that we go to bed.”

The next day, he says Tunstill told him she was going to the hospital. When he arrived at home later, he says, “… police were there and they then wanted to search the [garbage] bins. If I’d have known what was going on I would have done everything in my power to do something about it. I loved her very very much. I was very proud of her. She was good to me, very loving.”

While Tunstill was convicted of murder, some women have escaped such penalties.

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