Bolton Crown Court, where Fatima Ali who hid her dead baby was spared jail PA

A court has shown mercy to a mother who abandoned the body of her newborn baby girl in a garden and went to work.

The court heard that Fatima Ali, 26, had given birth to the little girl in secret in her bedroom. Just hours after delivering her, she went out with her family, leaving the newborn in her room.

The following morning, she wrapped her daughter in a scarf and left her body in a garden on her way to work.

Medical experts said they believed the baby lived for just two hours. Test showed she had drawn breath, but it is not known how she died.

A post-mortem examination proved inconclusive, but there was no evidence that Fatima Ali had hurt her.

Ms Ali, from Bury, pleaded guilty to cruelty and endeavouring to conceal the birth of a child.

After being jailed for 26 weeks, suspended for two years, the young woman broke down in the dock.

Judge John Appleby ordered her to seek psychological help, telling her: "You failed to seek medical assistance following the birth of your daughter. She died within two hours but her life could have been saved. It is still a mystery as to the course of action that you took following her birth. At the time of these offences your decision-making and thought process would have been compromised. This tragedy and the result of your actions will be with you for the rest of your life."

Office manageress Ms Ali, who has no previous convictions, said at the time of her arrest that she had passed out after giving birth, but the court was told that she exchanged text messages with her former lover, the baby's father, just hours later. One of the pictures she sent was a picture of the little girl.

The police who discovered the dead baby in the garden of a house in Bury in September 2010 named her Aliyah.

Earlier, Bolton crown court heard Ali's family had disapproved of the relationship with the baby's father, who had given her money for an abortion. Since the tragedy her family has been ostracised by community members.