A Surrey woman pleaded guilty on Thursday to a rare charge of infanticide in the drowning death of her baby boy six years ago.
Jasvinder Kang, whose four-month-old son Jasvir was found floating in a backyard pool, was given a two-year conditional sentence and three years probation.
At the time, Kang said a panhandler had taken the child, but five years later she confessed to placing the child in the pool herself.
Kang, 43, sat solemnly in a Surrey, B.C. Provincial Court as both the Crown and Kang's lawyer asked for a conditional sentence due to the case's unique circumstances.
The Crown said Kang and her husband tried for seven years to have a child until she became pregnant with Jasvir, who was seen as a "miracle child."
But about a month after he was born, Jasvir suffered a sudden episode of infant death syndrome. He survived, but it left him with long-term brain damage and seizures.
Murder charges downgraded
Judge Kenneth Ball said he believed that Kang was suffering from a disturbance of the mind from giving birth.
Crown counsel spokesman Stan Lowe said the original charge of second-degree murder was downgraded this spring.
"We concluded at the end of the day that, based on the psychiatric evidence, that Ms. Kang's responsibility was diminished to the point where it more properly met the charge of infanticide, but did not absolve her from all responsibility," said Lowe.
The charge of infanticide is more appropriate when dealing with new mothers who are suffering from a mental disorder related to giving birth, said Lowe.
According to the judgment, Kang is not permitted to take care of children under one year of age, and if she becomes pregnant, she is required to notify her probation officer and undertake counselling recommended by her doctors.