A mother jailed for life for the murder of her young daughter with a powerful painkiller has been denied transfer to an open prison because she refuses to accept her guilt.
Michelle Smith, then 34, was sentenced to life in prison in 2007 after being found guilty of feeding adult-grade painkillers to her 42-day-old daughter Amy.
A jury at Swansea Crown Court found her unanimously guilty of murdering the defenseless baby at her home in Morriston, Swansea, South Wales, in November 2007.
Smith, now 45, had an ‘oral’ appeal to the Parole Board on June 23 when she asked the three-person panel to recommend that she be transferred to open jail.
MailOnline can reveal that Smith was told last week that his application had been rejected and that he would have to remain in a closed, high-security prison for at least another two years.
Michelle Smith, then 34, (pictured outside Swansea Crown Court in 2012) was sentenced to life in prison after being found guilty of feeding adult-grade painkillers to her 42-day-old daughter Amy.
One of the main reasons cited by the Parole Board for the rejection was that Smith continues to refuse to admit that he deliberately killed his daughter.
In a written summary of the decision, seen by MailOnline, the panel stated that Smith had not undertaken any accredited prison programs to address his “criminal conduct” because he was not eligible for them.
He wrote: ‘The panel learned that this was due in part to his continued maintenance of innocence in relation to the index crime.
However, Ms. Smith had committed to working one-on-one with her prison supervisor.
‘This work had focused on developing professional relationships and the support networks he would need for his eventual return to the community.’
He continued: ‘The panel also heard that there were few concerns about Ms Smith’s behavior and conduct in prison.
‘There were positive reports about some of the trust roles he had taken on in his unit. Witnesses recommended that Ms. Smith could be safely driven in open conditions.
‘The panel considered proposals for Ms Smith to be managed in a prison with lower levels of security and where she would sometimes be out in the community during periods of temporary release.
The Parole Board rejected Smith’s appeal to be moved to open prison after spending 12 years behind bars, citing her refusal to admit guilt as one of the reasons (Pictured: Swansea Crown Court)
“He concluded that despite the work he had done, his risk factors were still not well understood and that there was more work he needed to complete in closed conditions.”
The panel concluded: “After considering the circumstances of her offence, the progress made while in custody, and the very comprehensive evidence presented at the hearing and on the record, the panel did not find that Ms. Smith met the criteria for a transfer to open conditions”. at the moment.’
A Parole Board spokesperson said: “We can confirm that a Parole Board panel declined to recommend the transfer to open conditions of Michelle Smith following an oral hearing.
“Parole Board decisions focus solely on what risk an inmate might pose to the public if released and whether that risk is manageable in the community.”
Smith has now served 12 years in prison with his minimum term expiring at the end of this month (July). Last month’s hearing could not consider recommending the release of him under license.
Smith poisoned baby Amy three times before finally managing to kill her.
She crushed up tablets of the powerful pain reliever dihydrocodeine, prescribed only for adults, and fed them to Amy from her bottle.
On the first occasion, the doctors couldn’t find anything wrong with her and sent her home.
Smith (pictured) poisoned baby Amy three times before finally managing to kill her. He crushed tablets of the powerful pain reliever dihydrocodeine, prescribed only for adults, and gave them to Amy from her bottle.
The second time she was rushed to hospital and urine tests revealed dihydrocodeine, but the results were not passed on to doctors and Amy was released again.
But the third time it happened, Amy couldn’t be revived and died at six weeks.
An autopsy revealed the presence of the drug and only then were the results of previous urine tests known.
The sentencing judge, Judge Spencer, told a sobbing Smith that he believed she killed Amy out of a craving for attention.
He told Smith that his actions involved “substantial premeditation.”
It added: “The administration of this drug to Amy required, as it must have, the crushing of a tablet or tablets which involved a significant degree of planning and premeditation.”
He said that Amy was young and vulnerable and that Smith’s actions were “a gross abuse of her position as a mother”.
‘In all probability you were in some way desiring and seeking attention when you introduced Amy to the doctors at the hospital.’
A jury at Swansea Crown Court unanimously found her guilty of murdering the defenseless baby at her home in Morriston, Swansea, South Wales, in November 2007 (Pictured: A general view of Morriston, Swansea)
The judge told Smith: “The only conclusion from all the evidence is that, on the day she died, you must have crushed one or more tablets that were available in the household.”
He also drew attention to Amy’s condition, described as “thriving” when he visited her on the day of her death.
Within hours, she was found in a collapsed state from which she never recovered, dying later that same day.
In concluding, he told her: “Inevitably, her contact with her other children, the siblings Amy will never get to know, has been substantially reduced, which adds to the tragedy of this case.”
A relative of Smith, who attended court only after the jury retired, wept in anguish during the sentencing.
Several times she was heard saying ‘No, no’, eventually being taken to a private room in an obviously distraught state.
A shell-shocked Smith was led away crying, still protesting: ‘But I didn’t do it. I did not do it.’
Amy Smith, six weeks old, died on November 9, 2007.
Smith and her husband Christopher, who never attended the trial or testified, were questioned by police after the death.
Both had previously been prescribed drugs for various ailments that contained DHC.
It wasn’t until September 2010 that Smith herself was arrested on suspicion of murder.
At the time, she was released without charge, but was arrested and charged with murder in June 2011 and later released on bail.
In January 2012, he appeared at Neath Police Station as part of his bail conditions and confessed to killing Amy, but recanted almost immediately.
Smith insisted throughout the trial that he had never done anything to harm Amy and had never given her DHC.
She dismissed suggestions that she knew the drugs stored in her house contained DHC, claiming that she never gave it to Amy Calpol.
Detective Sergeant Justin Evans of South Wales Police said after the verdict in July 2012 that he hoped it would help the family move on.
Speaking outside court, he said: ‘Michelle Smith has been sentenced today for the murder of her young daughter Amy Smith.
Amy was just six weeks old when she was killed by the one person who should have done more than anyone else to keep her safe.
‘Amy Smith would have been approaching her fifth birthday, and Michelle Smith’s actions have left a family without a much-loved girl.
“Our thoughts are with Amy’s family at this sad time, and we hope that today’s verdict allows the family to move on with the rest of their lives.”