Mother pleads guilty over baby’s death in Mernda

Mother pleads guilty over baby’s death in Mernda

December 14, 2022

The mother of a baby found dead in a Mernda home has pleaded guilty to infanticide.

Bao Tram Nguyen, who also goes by the name Alyssa Nguyen, faced Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday where she pleaded guilty over the six-month-old boy’s death.

Alyssa Nguyen has pleaded guilty to infanticide.

Nguyen, who remains in the community on bail, appeared via video link and confirmed she could hear the proceedings before stating: “Guilty, your honour”.

On May 20, emergency services were called to Nguyen’s home on Langdon Drive in Mernda, where baby Spencer Jordan Recto was found dead. Nguyen had critical injuries and spent time in intensive care before being released and charged.

At the time it was revealed the pair had been discovered by Nguyen’s partner, Ben Recto, who called triple zero.

Detectives carrying items from the Mernda house where the baby boy was found dead.Credit:Najma Sambul

Police also confirmed they were not looking for anyone else in connection with the incident.

Concerned neighbours said they first thought a car accident was the reason for emergency services arriving in their street before learning a child had died.

One of the neighbours, Mekail Arafat, said at the scene: “I nearly choked when I heard. It is a quiet neighbourhood with a lot of kids,” he said. “It’s tragic. I’m shocked.”

Another neighbour said Nguyen and her family were new to the area.

On Wednesday, magistrate Rohan Lawrence extended Nguyen’s bail until the next court date. Under the bail conditions, she must surrender her passport and not leave the country, or leave the state of Victoria without police permission, and abide by a health plan.

Details of the infant’s death have not been publicly revealed.

“I’ve noted your plea of guilty to the charge today,” Lawrence said.

Infanticide is a rare charge that can be applied against women who kill their children when the mother is affected by mental health problems related to childbirth. It applies only to children aged under two and carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison.

Nguyen will next face a Supreme Court hearing in January.

For support, call Lifeline on 13 11 14.

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