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Baby murder mother jailed for life
A mother found guilty of poisoning her own baby with a powerful pain killer murdered out of a craving for attention, a judge has told her.
Michelle Smith was jailed for life and ordered to serve a minimum 12 years for the murder of six-week-old Amy.
A shellshocked Smith was led away in tears still protesting "But I did not do it. I did not do it."
Moments before, a jury found her unanimously guilty of murdering the defenceless baby at home in Morriston, Swansea, south Wales, in November 2007.
The tiny 42-day-old baby was repeatedly poisoned with the powerful pain killer dihydrocodeine. It is never used on babies and rarely on children.
Judge Mr Justice Spencer briefly adjourned the Swansea Crown Court trial to collect his thoughts before passing sentence. He left Smith sobbing with the warning that he would be looking at 15 years as a starting point in setting a minimum term.
Passing sentence he told her her actions involved a "substantial premeditation".
He added: "The giving of this drug to Amy required, as it must have done, the crushing of tablet or tablets involving a significant degree or planning and premeditation."
He said Amy was young and vulnerable and that Smith's actions were "a gross abuse of your position as her mother".
"In all probability you were in some way craving and seeking attention by presenting Amy to the doctors at hospital."