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A mum has been found guilty of murdering her newborn baby with scissors after her original conviction for the same offence was quashed by the Court of Appeal.

Rachel Tunstill, 28, of HMP Styal, was convicted following a retrial at Liverpool Crown Court which lasted seven weeks.

Tunstill was originally convicted in June 2017 but at an appeal Lord Justice Treacy ruled that the jury in the case should have been offered a verdict of infanticide to consider.

The 28-year-old gave birth to baby Mia Kelly on the evening of Saturday, January 14 2017 in the bathroom of her home in Burnley.

She had told her partner that she was suffering a miscarriage and despite offering to get her medical help, she declined and said she would handle the situation herself.

Each time he went to check on her, she repeated that she didn’t need any assistance.

She asked for a pair of scissors but did not say what these were for.

These are believed to have been used to inflict a total of 15 stab wounds to baby Mia.

On Monday January 16 Tunstill attended Burnley General Hospital for medical attention but told nurses she had just suffered a miscarriage at nine weeks pregnant.

Upon being examined, it was apparent that she had given birth.

Police were notified and attended the hospital.
Tunstill told an officer that she had only found out she was pregnant on Wednesday, January 11, the baby was stillborn and she did not know whether it was a boy or girl.

Officers attended her address and found baby Mia’s body in the kitchen bin concealed within a bag.

In the weeks leading up to the birth Tunstill, a deputy manager at a residential home for people with mental health issues, carried out internet searches for terms including “how to end a pregnancy late”.

She also searched for information on notorious killer Mick Philpott, who murdered six of his own children in a house fire, and the court heard she had said she was interested in how somebody described as a “psychopath” could have cried on television about the deaths before his guilt was revealed.

The court was told that since being in prison Tunstill had reported hearing voices and claimed they told her she was like serial killer Rose West.

Tunstill will be sentenced tomorrow and faces a life term.

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