A financial consultant who allegedly shook her baby daughter to death has sent pictures of her breastfeeding the child to ‘guilt trip’ her father into coming home, a London court heard.
Baby Eva was just four-weeks-old when Clare Sanders reportedly killed her in September.
As per reports, when the 43-year-old woman was left alone with the baby, it prompted her to send “manipulative” texts to her Ukrainian lover, Tomas Vaitkevicius. The Central Criminal Court in England heard that she used the pictures of Eva lying on her chest while breastfeeding to ‘guilt trip’ the girl’s father. One of her texts to Vaitkevicius said, “You don’t have to like me but why would you leave Eva?”
Baby Eva was found lifeless in Sanders’ apartment in Mitcham, South London, in September 2017. Sanders and Vaitkevicius had allegedly shaken their baby on three occasions during the first four weeks of her life.
Eva was taken to St George’s Hospital after a neighbor heard Sanders’ yelling and called the London Ambulance Service. The neighbor said, he heard the woman screaming: “My baby.” However, the child was declared dead the next morning. Her autopsy report claimed the cause of death as “traumatic brain and spinal cord injury”.
Sanders and Vaitkevicius had allegedly finished “a bottle of liqueur thing” between them on the night.
Sanders had also used her phone to search ‘shaken baby syndrome NHS’, ‘shaking babies’ and ‘baby is shaking’. However, she refused to hand over her phone to police saying that she was going through a divorce and needed to access files on it, the court heard.
DC Susie Campbell said in the court that Sanders’ unexpected pregnancy could be the possible reason behind her alleged crime. “She had fallen pregnant unexpectedly having previously thought she was unable to get pregnant and she said they had argued quite a lot and she was worried about what we could see of that on the telephone. She said there were occasions where she was being manipulative,” Campbell told the court.
Cross-examining, Sally O’Neill, QC, for Sanders, also confirmed the woman’s manipulative nature. Sally said, “She said the examples of manipulation were sending him pictures of Eva on her breast trying to breastfeed her and she said she was doing that to try and guilt trip him to come home and in fact, it did work because he did come home after she sent those pictures.”
To which DC Campbell replied, “Yes.”
Meanwhile, both, Sanders and Vaitkevicius, have denied murder charges and an alternative count of causing or allowing the death of a vulnerable child. The trial is still on.