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Rachel Tunstill: Mother murdered baby with scissors

A woman who stabbed her newborn baby to death with a pair of scissors has been jailed for life for her murder.

Rachel Tunstill, 26, killed Mia Kelly soon after giving birth to her in the bathroom of her flat in Burnley.

Tunstill was told she would serve a minimum of 20 years for the murder, which took place on 14 January.

Preston Crown Court heard how the care worker called for her partner Ryan Kelly, who was playing on his games console, to pass her the scissors.

As he handed them through the bathroom door, Tunstill said: “Thanks babe”, before closing the door.

Mr Kelly, who had been in a relationship with Tunstill for nine years, said he did not suspect his partner was giving birth and thought she was going through the motions of a miscarriage she claimed she had suffered six weeks earlier.

‘Distressing crime’

But Tunstill, who has a degree in psychology and a masters in forensic psychology, killed Mia before wrapping her up in two plastic carrier bags and dumping her in the kitchen bin at her flat in Welling Court.

She denied murder, claiming her memory of the day was “very hazy”.

Sentencing Tunstill, Mr Justice Davis said: “The victim was a baby who had barely taken its first breaths.”

Following the jury’s verdict, Tunstill fell to the floor sobbing loudly as the judge said: “What you did was to take the life of a newborn baby.”

The judge said there was “no way of knowing why this happened”, adding: “It is a truly distressing, dreadful crime.”

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