A mom was taken to court for drinking so heavily that she passed out, slept on her five-month baby, and suffocated her to death. Shockingly, this is not the first baby she lost under these circumstances.
Claire Ross was taken to a Switzerland court, and she was in tears as she faced charges of negligent homicide. Formerly, the 39-year-old is from St Helens, Merseyside.
The five-month-old girl died in July 2020, and after investigations, authorities have determined that the girl died due to her mother's negligence.
When she appeared in court, the court was told that Ross has a "toxic" problem with alcohol. Both babies had perished when she passed out drunk in bed.
Ross is also said to have mental wellness issues. In 2018, she similarly lost a 2-month-old baby. However, when she lost the first infant, it could not be determined what had caused her death.
Although she was charged for the 2018 death, the case was eventually dropped because authorities could not conclusively determine the baby had not died through natural causes.
Ross has Borderline Personality Disorder traits. Her family moved to Nylon, Switzerland, several years ago after her husband got a job there.
Nevertheless, her serious drinking problem continued. She has been struggling with alcoholism since 2017.
In 2018, she woke up to find her 2-month-old infant dead beside her. Swiss prosecutors launched an investigation into the death, but they could not rule out the possibility that the baby had died through natural causes such as Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
In February 2020, Ross and her husband had another baby. But in July 2020, she was so drunk she passed out on the bed on top of the baby, killing her.
She had left her 6-year-old daughter watching the TV and went to bed with her 5-month-old baby.
Her daughter heard sounds of distress from her baby sister, and when she tried to wake her mother, she could not get up. The girl managed to free her baby sister before getting help from a neighbor.
The neighbor called emergency services, and the baby was taken to the hospital, where she was pronounced dead. It was determined that she had died from suffocation.
For this reason, she was charged with negligent homicide at a court in Nylon. The court was also informed that she had been caught driving while drunk in August 2020, after she lost her second baby.
Jean-Marie Ruede claimed that the death of the second baby was a "remake in all aspects" of the death her first baby had in 2018. Ruede also said that psychiatric reports indicated Ross was trying to overcome her mental health through heavy drinking.
According to Patrick Sutter, her lawyer, Ross should not have been held criminally responsible for the baby's death.
It was also argued in court that the woman had a borderline personality disorder and a "toxic" relationship with alcohol.
Sutter alleged that mental health services had failed her, and if she had been diagnosed in 2018, the tragedy in 2020 could have been prevented.
On her part, Ross admitted that she had no control over alcohol and said she had been sober since October 2020. She also claimed that her family had "peace" although the "reconstruction phase" was still in progress.
Since the death of the second baby, she became a mother once more, but the baby was taken from her care. She is only allowed to have supervised visits.
Her eldest daughter was also taken away following the incident in 2020, but she has since been returned to the family.
The alcohol problem the woman struggles with first came to light in 2017 in the UK. She had appeared in a court in Liverpool for driving with her toddler in her car while her alcohol level was four and a half times the legal limit.
Her car's tire had burst during the ride, and police officers responded to the incident. That's when they noticed "an overwhelming smell of alcohol."
Ross's eyes were also bloodshot and glazed, and her speech was slurry. However, she denied that she was drunk.
As she waited for the breakdown services, her husband picked up the girl from the car.
She tried to argue that she was drunk from the night before when she had taken wine with a friend. A friend defended her that she was "fine to drive" when they parted ways.
Ross argued that her alcohol level reading was high when the police gave her a breath test because she had taken some vodka while waiting for the breakdown services. The Crown Prosecution Service disputed these claims.
She pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol, and her lawyer argued that she had "exceptional character" and was "devastated" by the incident.
Her lawyer also claimed that she was getting treatment after suffering from depression. She was seeking solace by drinking excess alcohol.
In the end, she was sentenced to 10 weeks in prison, which was suspended for 18 months. She was also referred to the Probation Service for five rehabilitation activity days.
Following the incident, the family moved to Switzerland, and she is waiting for the court to deliver a verdict on the case regarding the death of her infant daughter in 2020.