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Mother on trial accused of leaving 15-month old daughter to die on beach

The Independent The Independent 20/06/2016 Kayleigh Lewis

© Provided by Independent Print Limited A French woman has gone on trial for premeditated murder after leaving her 15-month old daughter to die on a beach in Northern France.

Fabienne Kabou, 39, admitted leaving her only child – named Adélaïde after her grandmother - in freezing conditions on the Berck-sur-Mer beach as the tide came in during a hearing following the incident in November 2013.

Ms Kabou is said to have taken a train from Paris to the Channel coast, and on arrival had allegedly asked locals about tide times, Le Monde reported.

On the same evening she is accused of taking the girl to the beach – which she allegedly told detectives she chose because “even the name sounded sad” – and returning without her. A fisherman discovered the child's body the following morning.

Although Ms Kabou admitted to leaving the girl shortly after she was arrested, subsequent psychiatric analysis said the defendant had "severely impaired judgement due to paranoid delusions", Le Figaro reported.

However, psychiatrists found the woman was not clinically insane, so a trial is being held to decide the woman's guilt.

During a hearing at the Boulogne-sur-Mer court on 23 December 2013, Ms Kabou described how she had felt driven by a relentless force, according to Le Parisien.

She explained: “I'm still standing, I hold her against me and then I say ‘no, no, no’, I keep saying no, I do not know why. I cried. It’s as if I was telling someone I could not do a thing like that, but I did.”

Ms Kabou was previously living in a Paris workshop with sculptor Michael Lafon, who was 30 years her senior and the father to her child.

She had become pregnant twice before – both times suffering miscarriages – and gave birth to the third child alone in the workshop.

The pair had never registered the birth of the girl, so officially she did not exist. According to three experts on the case this was because the woman believed her daughter to be in great danger.

Drs Daniel Zagury, Roland Coutanceau and Mourassis Wilquin examined the woman – who was born to a wealthy Catholic family in Dakar, Senegal - and found she had “great intelligence” and “an IQ well above average”.

However, they were also said to be struck by the faith she placed in irrational beliefs such as witchcraft, according to Le Monde.

Ms Kabou reportedly felt ill and often had hallucinations, which she had documented in a journal. She also wrote how she could hear the voices of dead relatives who she believed intended to harm her, the newspaper said.

The trial is expected to take a week and, if found guilty, Ms Kabou could recieve a life sentence.

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