• Melissa Arbuckle was convicted of infanticide over the death of her 3-month-old daughter in July 2021
  • The mother was diagnosed with postpartum depression and psychosis
  • Arbuckle was ordered by a judge to continue treatment and supervision for three years

An Australian veterinarian who admitted to killing her 3-month-old baby last year has been spared a prison sentence.

Melissa Arbuckle, 32, was convicted of infanticide in Victoria's Supreme Court Thursday over the death of her daughter Lily in Melbourne on July 11, 2021, Australian newspaper The Age reported.

Arbuckle had told her husband that she and Lily would be going out for a walk that day as the child would not settle, according to

However, she ended up laying herself and Lily down on the tracks of the Belgrave train line near the family's Upwey, Melbourne, home just after 5 p.m. that day.

The driver of an approaching train used emergency brakes and sounded his whistle, but his vehicle struck both Arbuckle and Lily.

Lily suffered significant head injuries and later died after being airlifted to a hospital.

Meanwhile, Arbuckle survived with fractures and internal bleeding. She reportedly attempted to further harm herself when people tried to help.

Prior to the incident, Arbuckle was concerned that she had caused Lily to suffer from shaken baby syndrome by rocking her cradle too strongly and believed it was inevitable that the child would die, according to reports.

Arbuckle also heard voices that told her that she was a bad mother and that Lily would never love her.

"Prior to the incident, her anxiety increased, her sleep deteriorated and she became focused on a fixed, delusional belief that she had harmed her child and they were both broken," Justice Jane Dixon told the court.

Arbuckle was diagnosed with postpartum depression and psychosis, including auditory hallucinations, while recovering from her injuries at the hospital.

No one understood the severity of Arbuckle's condition at the time of the July 2021 incident, according to Dixon.

"It’s apparent that no one understood at that time the extent to which your judgment and decision-making were impaired by delusional thinking and frank psychosis," Dixon said.

While Arbuckle believed she deserved to suffer for her crime, Dixon spared her from a prison sentence and instead ordered her to continue treatment and supervision for three years.

The sentence was made with the victim impact statements of Lily's father, great-aunt and the train driver taken into account, Dixon said.

Arbuckle had no prior criminal history or mental health concerns when her daughter was killed, the court heard.

She is currently in full remission from her psychosis but still has symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. The incident left her feeling remorseful, and she now struggles with guilt as well as sadness.

Arbuckle's chances of experiencing postpartum psychosis are at 50%, but her current position is that she would not have children, according to Dixon.

If you have thoughts of suicide, confidential help is available for free at the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Call 1-800-273-8255. The line is available 24 hours, every day.

Representation. Melissa Arbuckle, 32, and her 3-month-old daughter, Lily, were struck by a train last July 11. 652234/Pixabay