A HAMPSHIRE woman has been found guilty of murdering her newborn baby after 'snapping' due to fears over her immigration status and the pressure of supporting her family.

Maliki Keresi was found at the foot of a tree in woods near Shore, Road, Hythe, after being wrapped in a towel and dumped in woodland by his mother Silipa.

The 38-year-old of Pylewell Road, Hythe - who has four other children - had requested an abortion months before his birth but was told it was too late, a court heard.

Daily Echo: Police in Shore Road, Hythe. Photo: Solent News Agency.Police in Shore Road, Hythe. Photo: Solent News Agency.

After her arrest, she told social workers she had been feeling under pressure after her husband left the military and she was worried about her immigration status.

Prosecutors said that while she had tried to be a good mother, she had 'snapped'.

The Fijian national had denied charges of infanticide and murder but was today found guilty by a unanimous jury.

Winchester Crown Court previously heard that baby Maliki was first found by a dog walker in the secluded woodlands near his house in the rural town of Hythe in Hampshire's New Forest, where Mrs Keresi also lives, in March last year.

Opening the case, Ms Kerry Maylin, prosecuting, said: "On Thursday March 5 the police were contacted by a man called Michael Dorsett.

Daily Echo: Police dog units in Shore Road, Hythe. Photo: Solent News and Photo Agency.Police dog units in Shore Road, Hythe. Photo: Solent News and Photo Agency.

"He had found a baby wrapped in a blanket. He had been out for a walk with his dog in a woodland in Hythe, in the New Forest.

"As he walked [at about two o'clock] he saw something at the base of a tree.

"Initially he thought it was an animal but as he went to the base of the tree he saw a towel covered in blood.

"He eventually saw the face and knew it was a baby. He felt baby Maliki's cheek was cold, and there was no reaction."

The court heard Mr Dorsett returned to his nearby home and called police, who he led through the forest to the baby, who was wrapped 'carefully' in the towel with its umbilical cord still attached.

Daily Echo: Officers searching woods near Shore Road, Hythe.Officers searching woods near Shore Road, Hythe.

"Having seen the white towel, (the police officer) also saw two small feet visible and not covered," Ms Maylin said.

"There was blood on Maliki's feet. The baby appeared to be wrapped carefully and was leaning on the base of the tree.

"[The baby had] no visible injuries and still had the umbilical cord attached."

The court heard that during her pregnancy several services including midwives and Mrs Keresi's GP had tried to contact her.

"All of these agencies were trying to contact Mrs Keresi," said Ms Maylin.

"She had a consultation with a midwife to discuss the possibility of termination in November 2019.

"She had thought she was about 12 weeks pregnant, but results indicated she was 26 weeks and five days pregnant - over the gestation date limit for a lawful termination.

"[Mrs Keresi] became shocked and visibly uncomfortable, and tried to leave."

During an interview with a social worker following her arrest, Mrs Keresi said she had been under 'increased pressure' after her husband left the army.

She had also raised concerns about her immigration status.

Ms Maylin continued: "During the course of the interview [on March 13], Selipa Keresi was distressed and crying.

"She said she was in a bad situation and was trying to juggle everything.

"She had tried to keep things good for her family, but felt under pressure after her husband had left the army.

"She had also filled out an incorrect immigration form, and in order for her to remain [in the UK] she had to pay a fine she couldn't afford.

"She said she tried to be a good mother but snapped. When asked what she meant she said, 'God understands'."

"Police found, in the early hours of March 4 - 30 to 32 hours before Maliki was found - Selipa Keresi was seen leaving her accommodation.

"A camera on a nearby farm... what we see is a figure with a white item over their shoulder at 04:51am.

"About 20 minutes later a figure walks past the farm gate with no white item over their shoulder."

She will be sentenced this Thursday.