A twisted mum has told how she suffocated her 15-month-old daughter to death because she believed she was possessed.
Sofina Nikat, 24, admitted killing baby Sanaya Sahib before dumping her dead body in a Melbourne creek.
She had initially told police an African man who smelt of alcohol had kidnapped Sanaya, but confessed a week later that she had made up the story “because she was scared”.
Nikat pleaded guilty to infanticide after prosecutors downgraded her murder charge when they learnt she had been suffering from a depressive illness at the time of Sanaya’s death.
It’s believed Sanaya was seen frothing at the mouth after suffering a seizure in the days before her death – prompting Nikat to believe she had been possessed.
A Mulim cleric in Fiji allegedly told Nikat’s parents that their granddaughter was “under an evil eye”.
On Friday 24-year-old was granted bail by Justice Lex Lasry after the court heard she was mentally unwell.
The maximum penalty for infanticide is five years’ imprisonment.
The Victorian Supreme Court was told that Nikat had taken the toddler to Heidelberg West park on April 9, 2016.
CCTV showed her playing with the child moments before killing her.
Prosecutor Kerri Judd QC said: “She put her hand over her mouth so as to block the airway.
“She continued to apply pressure until Sanaya could not breathe anymore.
“She said she had covered Sanaya’s mouth and nose, and had thrown her into the creek.
“She thought her baby was possessed.”
Nikat admitted throwing her daughter’s dead body into Darebin Creek near scrubland, before telling a relative that the 15-month-old had been snatched from her pram.
Cops launched a desperate search for the child, and the next day discovered her body in the creek.
The court heard Nikat was suffering from depression after giving birth to Sanaya in January 2015.
She had been living in a women’s refuge in the months before Sanaya’s death after separating from her partner.