An Australian mother has pleaded guilty to killing her 15-month-old baby. It took Sofina Nikat 18 months to confess her crime in court. The 24-year-old Fijian-born woman choked her daughter to death in April 2016.
Nikat told the Victorian Supreme Court that she had killed her daughter, Sanaya Sahib, because she believed her baby was possessed. While pleading guilty to infanticide, the mother said that she thought her daughter would be in a “better place” after her death. After strangling her daughter to death at a park in Melbourne’s north-east, Nikat threw the body into a creek.
Nikat told the court that it was a priest who said that both the mother and the daughter were possessed. According to the priest, they had negative energy. The baby used to “look at the roof and cry and growl,” the mother told police.
Nikat has been in custody for almost 18 months now. But, this is the first time she confessed her crime. In her earlier version of the incidents, a man of African descent snatched her daughter from her in the park. She held the barefoot man, who smelt of alcohol, responsible for her daughter’s death.
During the process of investigation, it was revealed that the mother had been suffering from severe depression. There was enough medical evidence to believe that her daughter’s death was the reason behind her depressive disorder, ABC News reported. After she was separated from her husband, she blamed her baby daughter for making her life miserable.
Nikat was apparently so shocked about what she had done to her daughter that she could not confess the crime earlier. She eventually told police that she had hugged her daughter tight, with her hand across the baby’s mouth and nose, until Sanaya stopped moving, News.com.au reported.
— Mamamia (@Mamamia) March 21, 2017
Detectives came to know that she repeatedly talked about killing her daughter and committing suicide. Nikat had an arranged marriage, which did not work. According to defense barrister Christopher Dane QC, the woman was a victim of domestic violence.
BREAKING: Sofina Nikat walks free on bail after pleading guilty to the infanticide of her 15 month old baby girl. pic.twitter.com/S2TphIx5D4
— Sharnelle Vella (@SharnelleVella) September 22, 2017
The time Nikat has spent in custody may be more than her supposed sentence. She is supposed to be sentenced soon.
[Featured Image by Luis Ascui/Getty Images]