A woman has pleaded guilty to infanticide and admitted she buried her baby while it was still alive and left it to a dreadful fate.
Latvian Elita Amantova, 39, had been living rough in Tooting in South London. She survived by eating berries and scraps that had been left out for the birds.
Amantova, who suffers from mental health problems, came to the UK in 2008. After she lost her job, she ended up being controlled by a criminal gang in Norfolk who forced her to work as a prostitute. Pregnant, she fled to London in August 2012, sleeping rough in a burial ground located off Garratt Lane in Tooting.
The heavily-pregnant woman was sleeping on gravestones wearing a blonde wig and a concerned member of the public alerted the authorities.
The police tried to persuade Amantova to seek suitable care and move to accommodation, but she refused all help and the police were unable to assist further.
Then, in August 2012, a worker made a gruesome discovery, finding a baby’s leg and foot lying on the ground at the tractor yard at Doctor Johnson Avenue, which is next to Tooting Common. The leg was maggot-ridden and a full search of the surrounding area turned up another limb – the thigh and calf had been eaten through to the bone.
As part of the investigation, a fox expert discovered the entrance to a den and said that it was likely a fox had dug up the baby and brought the body parts into the yard.
Amantova’s schizophrenia-type mental condition was exacerbated by pregnancy and she told officers after her baby’s body was discovered that she had buried the child the same day she gave birth.
Sentencing Amantova to a hospital order at the Old Bailey, Judge Paul Worsley QC said although infanticide was a “rare offence … the court must always mark the serious fact a life has been taken.” The judge went on to say that Amantova would probably need lifelong treatment and care due to the severity of her condition.