Probe into baby Jasmine's death at hands of mentally ill mother

A PROBE has begun into how a mentally ill Dewsbury woman killed her twoyearold daughter despite being known to social services.
Kirklees Council’s ‘safeguarding children’ board is investigating to see if more could have been done to stop paranoid schizophrenic Sonia Bellfield.
The 31yearold, of Naylor Court, was detained indefinitely under the Mental Health Act for smothering daughter Jasmine to death on February 19, 2010.
Bellfield denied murder at Leeds Crown Court but admitted to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.
The court heard visits were made by health professionals two days before the killing over concern’s about Bellfield’s deteriorating mental state.
It was not considered enough of an emergency to take Jasmine into care. After an attempted check the following night Bellfield killed her daughter.
Bellfield reportedly thought the FBI were coming to take Jasmine away and she heard voices in her head telling her to ‘save’ Jasmine from them.
She put her hand over her sleeping daughter’s mouth and nose to smother her. Bellfield then took a drugs overdose and stabbed herself in a suicide bid.
Bellfield was found covered in blood downstairs when police arrived with a mental health crisis team next morning. Jasmine’s body was upstairs.
It is believed she had not been taking her antipsychotic medication, on which she later overdosed, for three months before the incident happened.
Paul Greaney QC, prosecuting, said Bellfield was treated for mental illness from the age of 19. Smoking cannabis from a young age may have contributed it.
She was first admitted to Dewsbury District Hospital’s psychiatric unit in 2000 and was an outpatient there from 2002 to 2005.
Bellfield then saw a community psychiatric nurse until late the following year and asked to be referred back to the mental health team in December 2009.
But there was no evidence she had been seen by anyone until February 2010 when Bellfield took Jasmine to a nursery, whose staff raised the alarm.
Health visitors passed a referral on and, when Bellfield refused to let in two psychiatric nurses the next night, a decision was made to return with police later.
They decided it could be left overnight and assessed by a sevenstrong crisis team in the morning as there had been no previous child protection issues. 
Social services had closed the file on Bellfield in 2008 and were satisfied with her care of Jasmine. Mr Greaney said further action came too late.
Judge Mr Justice Butterfield, in remanding her to a secure mental unit, said it was not Bellfield’s fault she suffered from a severe psychiatric disorder.
He said: “It was the symptoms of that disease that caused her to behave as she did. To describe this case as a tragedy is to trivialise that word.”
Mr Justice Butterfield added he could not comment on the involvement of mental health professionals as that was something for others to look at.
Kirklees Council refused to comment other than to confirm that the safeguarding children board has launched a serious case review.

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