Thursday, June 04, 2009

Sleep on it

Donna Sheppard-Saunders, 33, is a free woman today after an English court found her innocent of trying to smother her sleeping mother with a pillow because she, Donna, was sleep-waking at the time. Donna apparently has a history of sleep-walking, which her mother says is a side-effect of leukemia treatment she underwent as a child. Donna and her mother were sharing the same bedroom when the incident happened. Her mother had beem asleep for about an hour when she felt something on her face - which turned out to be a pillow. Her mother managed to push Donna away, and in a call to Emergency Services, made by Donna, Donna is reported as saying "I didn't know what I was doing 'til Mum woke me up". She said that she herself had gone off to sleep and the next thing she knew her mother was "shouting and slapping her". However, this does seem at odds with that she is also quoted in the TimesOnline article I read as saying that after the incident, Ms Sheppard-Saunders had followed her mother out of the bedroom, apologising to her for her actions and mentioning that she had "tried to stop her snoring". Mention was made in the article of testimony by Donna's father that she does have a history of sleep-walking. However, the report carried no answers to my now burning questions: why did Donna and her mother share a bedroom; where was Donna's father at the time of the incident; was there a change made to Donna and her mother's sleeping arrangements following the "smother" incident; and lastly, if Donna had no recall of events after she had gone to sleep, why did she tell her mother she was trying to stop her snoring?

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