In a tragic and complex case, Raby Diallo, a 26-year-old mother, was recently released after serving more than half of her three-year and five-month sentence for the manslaughter of her two-month-old daughter, Aissatu. The incident occurred in March 2020 amidst Diallo’s struggles with post-natal depression and extreme exhaustion due to her baby’s constant crying.
The Inner London Crown Court heard that Diallo, who was 22 at the time, had acted out of sheer desperation. On May 19, 2020, she discovered her daughter feeling ‘icy’ and called paramedics to their Brixton flat, but unfortunately, Aissatu was pronounced dead at the scene. Initial investigations by a pathologist declared the death non-suspicious.
However, further examination revealed multiple injuries to Aissatu, including brain and spinal cord damage, optic nerve bleeding, 36 rib fractures, and a skull fracture. These injuries were consistent with shaking and head impact over three separate incidents.
Prosecutor Kate Lumsdon KC revealed that Diallo admitted to causing these injuries by roughly shaking Aissatu and dropping her from a height on two occasions. Diallo’s internet search history showed disturbing searches for ways to harm or kill newborns. This, combined with messages sent to family members about her exhaustion and sleepless nights, painted a picture of a deeply troubled woman, told MyLondon.
Diallo’s husband, Mohammed Barrie, 37, was cleared of causing or allowing his daughter’s death after a trial. During the trial, jurors saw WhatsApp messages from Diallo showing Aissatu with injuries, indicating Diallo’s acknowledgment of her actions.
Diallo, originally from Ivory Coast, married Barrie, an asylum seeker from Sierra Leone, in July 2019 after meeting him online and joining him in the UK on a spousal visa in January 2020. She gave birth to twins in March 2020, with Aissatu being born underweight and with respiratory issues.
The court heard about Diallo’s traumatic background, including abuse from her parents and past relationships. Mathew Sherratt KC, defending, highlighted Diallo’s struggle with post-natal depression and the added stress of caring for her children without family support during the strict COVID-19 lockdown.
Despite her initial denial of the charges, Diallo eventually admitted to her actions to a psychologist in early 2023. Sherratt argued that further imprisonment would not serve the public interest, emphasizing Diallo’s trauma and the loss she will carry for the rest of her life.
As Justice Murray handed down the sentence, Diallo fainted in shock and distress. Having already served a significant portion of her sentence, she was released on license, leaving the court amidst her screams and evident emotional turmoil.