'Binge drinking' Brit mum, 39, suffocates baby two years after her other child died in her bed – but she WON’T face jail | The Sun
A DRUNK Brit mum who passed out and suffocated her baby two years after her other child died in her bed won't face jail.
Claire Ross, 39, was cleared of negligent homicide by a Swiss court due to her mental health, despite the two tragedies.
The court heard the mum, formerly of St Helens, Merseyside, had a "toxic" alcohol problem long before the deaths of the two tots.
Ross' two infant daughters passed away in almost identical circumstances just two years apart.
She had moved to Prangins near the Swiss town of Nyon in 2018 with her family after her husband Ian secured a job there.
The 39-year-old had been struggling with a crippling alcohol addiction for at least a year before making the move across Europe.
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Ross, who shows signs of Borderline Personality Disorder, passed out drunk while in bed with her two-month-old daughter in 2018.
She had been drinking heavily and woke up to find the child had died.
But as an autopsy pushed by local prosecutors could not establish a clear cause of death, criminal charges against her were dropped.
The inconclusive result left open the possibility that the baby died of natural causes, such as Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
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Two years after the tragedy, Ross and her husband welcomed another daughter in February 2020.
In July of that year, the alcohol-dependent mum had been drinking heavily when she decided to go to sleep with her then five-month-old baby.
After putting the TV on for her eldest daughter, aged six at the time, she went to bed with the tot.
But according to Swiss prosecutors, she was so intoxicated she passed out in a drunken slumber on top of the five-month-old.
Ross's six-year-old child heard her baby sister crying in distress and tried to save her, but could not wake her comatose mum.
The little girl valiantly managed to free the five-month-old and put her in a pram before rushing to get help from a neighbour.
The resident called emergency services but it was sadly too late to save the baby girl and she was pronounced dead a short time later at a Swiss hospital.
An autopsy found she had died from suffocation. Ross was later charged with negligent homicide at the district court in Nyon.
The ex-pat's alcohol issues had continued to spiral even in wake of her second daughter's death – and she was caught drink driving again in August 2020.
Prosecutor Jean-Marie Ruede told the court the death of Ross's five-month-old was a "remake in all respects" of the first baby's passing.
He said psychiatric reports showed the mum "drowns her mental ill-being" with heavy drinking.
The hearing in Nyon also heard that psychiatrists found Ross showed signs of Borderline Personality Disorder and had a "toxic relationship" with alcohol.
The mum's solicitor, Patrick Sutter, argued that her mental health problems meant she should not be held criminally responsible for the death of her baby.
He claimed she had been failed by mental health services and is "convinced" a diagnosis would have prevented the second tragedy.
Her internal conflicts became so unbearable that they had to be evacuated by a practice of binge drinking. She didn't even realise that she was putting her children in danger.
Ross, who was asked to address the court, told the judges: "I understood and accepted that I had no control over alcohol."
She said she had been sober since October 2020 and has found "peace" with her family, admitting they are still in "the reconstruction phase".
Her eldest daughter was removed from her care in wake of the five-month-old's death, but has since been returned to her family.
Ross has also since become a mother for a fourth time, but she currently only has supervised visits with after the tot was also taken from her care.
Judge Cornaz said: "Given her pathology, it was not possible for her to resist.
"Her internal conflicts became so unbearable that they had to be evacuated by a practice of binge drinking. She didn't even realise that she was putting her children in danger."
The court ordered that she must spend "as long as necessary" undergoing psychiatric and addiction treatment.
The tribunal concluded she was not criminally responsible for the baby's deaths but concluded she has to begin compulsory addiction treatment.
Ross's explosive relationship with alcohol was first reported on UK soil in 2017, before the family's move to Switzerland.
She had been driving on the M62 with her eldest daughter in the car, then aged three, while being four and a half times over the limit.
According to the Liverpool Echo, one of her tyre's burst, forcing her to pull over before police spotted her and offered their assistance.
Cops found the mum was drunk and even noticed a bag of vomit on the passenger side.
She told officers her toddler was in the back seat, although Ross's husband had in fact collected the child before leaving his wife to wait for the breakdown services.
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Ross pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol and she was sentenced to 10 weeks in prison, suspended for 18 months.
She was also referred to the Probation Service for five rehabilitation activity days.
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