AN Abergavenny woman is to be detained indefinitely in a mental hospital after pleading guilty to the manslaughter of her 11-month-old baby

23-year-old Jade louise Ruck, formerly of St David's Road, denied murder but pleaded guilty to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

After the fourth and final medical report detailing Ruck's state of mind had been examined, her plea was accepted by Swansea Crown Court.

Prosecutor James Wilson said that after the police received a telephone call from Ruck's friend Janet Hyde, who expressed concerns about Ruck's state of mind, officers visited the St David's address only hours before she killed her baby.

Hyde said Ruck had sounded 'sparked out'. Two police officers visited Ruck at 2am and observed that she was in an agitated state. She told officers that she had smoked a joint of cannabis, but the officers could not find any evidence of this.

When Ruck appeared to calm down the officers left and returned to the station to fill out a social services report.

The court heard that just after 5.20am Ruck had dialled 999 and told the operator she had stabbed her daughter with a kitchen knife.

Mr Wilson said, "The operator heard Ruck say, 'I've got a situation here - I don't know what's happening. I've got an 11-month-old baby, I couldn't handle my life any more ... I've stabbed her with a kitchen knife. She took ages to go as well."

The court heard that Ruck had made numerous phone calls to friends and family in the days leading up to the incident and on the night itself.

Ruck's grandmother, Mary Ruck said that her granddaughter seemed agitated when she rang to say, "I love you, I'm frightened." Ruck's father described his daughter's attitude as "all over the place," and her mother said that, "She was strange, it was as if I was talking to a young girl again'."

The court heard that the baby's father, Dorian Twist had moved out of the family home before Harley was born and that Ruck was having difficulties coming to terms with the situation.

The prosecutor said that Mr Twist had received a call from Ruck a day or so before the incident and he said that it had been a weird conversation, even more than normal, as she was shouting that she was still in love with him and he needed to come and see her.

Following the 999 call, Police returned to Ruck's flat at 5.30am and found Harley dead in the hallway with multiple stab wounds.

Mr Wilson added,"Following her arrest and during her transportation to the police station officers heard Ruck saying 'I'm free now, I'm alright as long as I'm free'."

Peter Murphy QC defending, said, "It would be in Jade's best interests to be treated in hospital. The way she spoke before and after the attack was characteristic of someone who is seriously mentally unwell."

Judge Mr Justice Lloyd Jones ordered Ruck to be detained at Bridgend's Caswell Clinic indefinitely and said, "This case has been a great tragedy for everybody concerned - in particular those who tried to support and help you.

'Your understanding, perception and ability to make judgments were affected by your mental state.

'I only hope that the end of this case brings some kind of closure to you."

Gwent Police said after the sentencing, "We accept the findings of the court today. The death of Harley Ruck was a tragedy that affected the whole community.

"Following the decision of the court Harley's mother will now get the treatment she needs.

"The investigation team would like to thank Harley's extended family for their help and co-operation throughout the investigation process. They have been given support throughout the investigation by our specially trained family liaison officers."

Harley's family have described her death as 'an horrific tragedy', and said in a statement, "Harley was our beautiful, happy, loving little daughter, granddaughter, great granddaughter, niece and cousin.

"She was loved dearly and will be sadly missed by all around her, especially by her lost, heartbroken mum.'