Mum who suffocated her ‘possessed’ baby pleads guilty on her birthday

Sofina Nikat, 24, pleaded guilty to infanticide over the 2016 death of 15-month- old Sanaya Sahib in the Victorian Supreme Court on Friday, but was released on bail as she awaits sentencing.

Sofina Nikat pleaded guilty to infanticide.

The Supreme Court of Victoria was told the charge had been downgraded from murder on the back of a new medical report stating Sofina Nikat, 23, had been suffering depression when she killed her toddler on April 9 previous year.

Nikat had initially told police her child had been kidnapped by a African man who smelled heavily of alcohol, but later said she had made up the story “because she was scared”, court documents claim.

Sanaya’s mother told police an African man had snatched her child away.

She then wanted to confess to killing her child because her baby “was possessed”, the court heard.

It’s believed Sanaya was seen frothing at the month after suffering a seizure in the days before her death – prompting Nikat to believe she had been possessed.

Prosecutor Kerri Judd QC said a psychologist had found Nikat was suffering a depressive illness as a outcome of giving birth to Sanaya in January 2015.

She said extended family members told detectives she had spoken numerous times about killing herself and her baby, asking her daughter, “Why do you have to be born and why do you have to make my life so miserable?”

“The killing of Sanaya must be recognised and denounced”, she said.

Mr Dane said two weeks before Nikat had been due to give birth, she had revoked intervention orders taken out against her estranged husband and his family in a vain hope of reconciling with him.

She then allegedly walked down to the creek bed and dropped her daughter’s limp body in Darebin Creek near scrubland.

She will now live in a women’s refuge until she is sentenced.

Ms Nikat told police she put her hand across Sanaya’s mouth and nose and hugged her tight until she couldn’t feel her daughter moving.

Nikat’s plea hearing continues before Justice Lex Lasry. She was jailed for at least 20 years in May this year.

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