CONTENT WARNING: Distressing content
A Victorian courtroom has heard further details surrounding an incident in which a new mother struggling with postpartum depression killed her daughter by laying down with her on train tracks.
Melissa Arbuckle appeared in the Victorian Supreme Court on Tuesday where she pleaded guilty to infanticide over the tragic incident at a train station in July last year.
Defence barrister Megan Tittensor told the court that Arbuckle suffered severe postpartum depression and psychosis when she tried to kill herself and her daughter, Lily.
The court heard that Arbuckle thought Lily was suffering from shaken baby syndrome and that she would eventually die.
“This act was committed by someone with a significantly disturbed mind,” Tittensor told the court, 7News reported.
“She had a fixed delusional belief she had harmed her child and they were both broken.
“She had a perfectionist personality and need for control…she wanted to be the perfect mother.”
Arbuckle was struggling with Lily while taking her for a walk when she began looking at train timetables, the court heard.
She then messaged her husband saying their daughter was unsettled, before placing Lily on the train track and laying down next to her.
The pair were struck but Lily died while being airlifted to hospital, and Arbuckle survived with fractures and internal bleeding.
Arbuckle remains on bail and will be sentenced on Thursday.
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Image: Seven News
This article first appeared on OverSixty.