DRUNKEN MOTHER KILLS BABY

MAY 22 2009 17:29h

Russian Convicted Of Alcohol Breastmilk Death

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Yelena Sinitsyna was handed a one-year suspended sentence and a three-year probation period for death by negligence of her four-month son.

A baby in Russia's Far East died from his drunken mother's breastmilk after she downed half a litre of ethanol before feeding him, the region's investigations committee said after sentencing the woman this week.

Yelena Sinitsyna was handed a one-year suspended sentence and a three-year probation period on Wednesday for death by negligence of her four-month old son in the small town of Sretensk, near China and six hours east of Moscow.

"On 3 April between 2 and 3 pm, she drank half a litre of spirit alcohol. In her drunken state she then breastfed her son," the committee said on its website www.zabsledkom.chita.ru. "The immediate cause of the child's death, according to a forensic examination of the corpse, was acute ethanol poisoning." Sinitsyna was given a relatively light sentence as she must care for her surviving toddler, it added.

Eighty percent of crimes committed in Russia are connected to alcohol consumption, the interior ministry said on Friday, citing a report it will publish soon. A spokesman at the ministry declined to comment on the Sinitsyna case.

The ruling court said Sinitsyna, if found to be an alcoholic, would receive treatment.

Russians are some of the world's heaviest drinkers and demographers often cite high alcohol consumption as a factor in the low life expectancy of Russian men.

Campaigns to discourage alcohol consumption have persisted throughout Russian history from the time of the Tsars and through the Soviet era.