'I drowned my daughter in bath after a few glasses of wine':  How mother killed the disabled child who embarrassed her

A mother's horrific account of the moment she drowned her daughter in the bath echoed around a courtroom yesterday.

Joanne Hill, 32, is accused of murdering four-year-old Naomi, who had mild cerebral palsy, because she was embarrassed about the child's disability.

Yesterday Hill's taped police interview, in which she describes filling the bath with water and pink bubble bath before holding her little girl's head under for 10 minutes, was played to the jury at Chester Crown Court.

Naomi Hill

Drowned: Naomi Hill had mild cerebral palsy. Her mother is accused of murdering her because she could not cope with her disability

'I pushed her down,' said Hill, who had drunk around four glasses of wine in the hours before the killing.

'I held her down by the head. She's lying on her front with her face to the side. I am holding her by the neck, around her neck.

'I am holding her against the bottom of the bath. She did not come up.'
Hill, an advertising saleswoman of Connah's Quay, North Wales, sat expressionless in the dock as the tape was played.

'I told her (Naomi) to sit down. I was being forceful with her. I said, "come on, you are having a bath", and told her to sit down,' she said on the tape.

'I held her by her head and neck area, on the back area of her neck and head - it just happened so quick.

'I just grabbed her by the back of the neck and kept her under water. She was on her front at first, and then turned on to her side to face the wall.' After the tape was turned off, Detective Constable Andrew Roberts, who interviewed Hill, read the rest of her police statement to the court.

Joanne Hill

Accused: Joanne Hill told a police officer how she held Naomi's head under the water until she was dead

Hill told him: 'I pulled her down. She was a bit whingey but not a lot. I got hold of her neck and pushed her in the water. She turned on to her right side after a while - I think she'd gone, she'd stopped moving.'

Asked how long she had held Naomi under the water, Hill told him she was not sure, but added: 'about five or 10 minutes'.

'Did you understand that if you held her head under water that she would die?' Det Con Roberts asked. 'Yes,' Hill replied. After killing Naomi on November 26 last year, Hill dressed her body in dungarees, a duffle coat and pink trainers, and placed her in the child seat in the family car.

She bought a bottle of wine and drove around Chester drinking for eight hours.
CCTV images showed Hill, who had cheated on her husband with a work colleague days before the killing, joking with staff at a petrol station while her child lay dead in the car.

She eventually took Naomi's body to the casualty department of a local hospital in the early hours, telling doctors: 'Will somebody help me? I think she is dead.'

Staff tried in vain to resuscitate Naomi, a reception class pupil at Golftyn Primary School in Connah's Quay.

Hill admitted in the interview that she thought of holding her daughter under water before she ran the bath.She said she considered suicide after killing Naomi.

The court has heard that Hill, who had suffered depression and a drinking problem, tried to persuade her husband, Simon, 38, to have Naomi adopted because she was ashamed of their daughter's disability.

Naomi wore callipers and was partially deaf. She claimed she only suggested this because she thought Naomi would have a 'better life'.

But when the devoted father refused, Hill is accused of hatching a plan to murder the child instead.

Hill admits killing Naomi, but denies murder on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

The trial continues.

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