A mother who suffocated her toddler with a plastic bag on the day his father applied for more contact was sentenced to life in prison.
Daniel Green was only two years old when emergency personnel arrived at his home in Upper Garth Gardens, Guisborough, on February 2 and discovered him unresponsive.
Carol Hodgson, 40, of Guisborough, North Yorkshire, pleaded guilty in June at Teesside Crown Court to Daniel’s murder.
The court heard at a sentencing hearing on Friday that Hodgson was scheduled to appear in Family Court on the day of the murder after Daniel’s father, Stefan Green, applied for joint custody.
Hodgson’s murder was described as ‘premeditated.’
Prosecutor Alistair Macdonald QC stated that when paramedics arrived at the address on the fateful day, they discovered Hodgson’s mother performing CPR on her, and they then discovered Daniel lying lifeless next to his mother.
Paramedics tried everything they could to save the little boy, but he died in the hospital.
Hodgson regained consciousness but told paramedics, ‘just let me die,’ after opening her eyes.
She was taken to the hospital but remained silent about what had happened to her son, later requesting to be left alone and repeatedly saying, “Please let me die.”
When questioned under caution, Hodgson denied killing her son, saying she remembered taking pills and wanting to commit suicide but didn’t want to hurt Daniel.
Her mother discovered a note that said, ‘Just call the cops.’ Don’t go into the bedroom, Ma’am; you don’t need to see it. I love you and am deeply sorry.’
Hodgson was discovered with self-inflicted neck wounds and a bloody kitchen knife nearby.
Other notes were discovered in which she stated that the only way to protect Daniel was for you to ‘take him with her.’
Hodgson claimed she couldn’t remember anything after taking the pills and that her only intention was to kill herself.
An investigation, however, revealed that she had suffocated Daniel with a plastic bag.
Mr Green described his young son as “his entire world” in a moving victim impact sentence.
‘He was my entire world,’ the bereaved father explained.
‘I used to refer to him as my little star. I miss holding him in my arms and hearing him laugh.
‘The shocking nature of the loss has exacerbated everything.’
‘I now have PTSD and night terrors.’ Since everything happened, I haven’t been able to work and have been on sick leave.
‘My mother and father are completely broken. Even family friends have been severely impacted.
‘Sometimes I think it would be easier if I wasn’t here anymore.’
‘I never saw his first steps or heard his first words; it was all stolen from me.’
In mitigation, Richard Wright QC stated that Hodgson accepted full responsibility for her son’s death.
‘There is no part of this mitigation that seeks to avoid or delegate that responsibility to anyone else.’
‘She adored Daniel, and her remorse could not be more genuine or deeper.’
Judge Paul Watson QC, the Recorder of Middlesbrough, told Hodgson during sentencing: ‘There is no doubt but that this was a premeditated killing which you had planned in advance.’
‘You purposefully killed Daniel and then attempted suicide, which was foiled by the arrival of your mother.’
‘As a result, the sentence is life imprisonment with a minimum term of 18 years and four months before you can be considered for parole.’
‘That term is reduced by the 158 days you served on remand. I also make any ancillary orders that are required by law.’