WA mum who killed her baby girl finally pleads guilty, but may escape life sentence

“It’s an exceptional case.”

Content Editor / June 11 2019

A young mother has pleaded guilty to killing her four-month-old daughter in Western Australia.

The baby’s father had been showering when he returned to find his daughter unresponsive in her cot.

Little Anastacia Hand was brought to Bunbury Regional Hospital, then to Princess Margaret Hospital for Children in Perth, but died from serious injuries two days later.

The baby’s mother, Cassandra Rose Doohan, who was 18 at the time, initially entered a not guilty plea, but has since changed her plea to guilty.



Anastacia’s grandfather said the family were relieved Ms Doohan had pleaded guilty, but just wished they had done it sooner.

“David used to be quite confident and outgoing, but now he is a changed man,” Mr Hand’s father said.

“It’s a huge relief that David doesn’t have to go through a trial … that would break him.”

Ms Doohan remains in custody and will be charged later this year. She may escape a life sentence and instead seek a fixed term, her lawyer said, adding that it is an “exceptional case.”

Fixed jail terms can only be handed to murderers are not considered a threat to the public.

Nicola Conville has worked as a journalist and editor for more than 20 years across a wide range of print and online publications. Her areas of expertise are parenting, health and travel. She has two children; Lucy, age eight, and Nathan, age five.