Baby murder accused 'did not know she was pregnant'

A 15-YEAR-OLD girl jointly accused with her teenage boyfriend of killing their newborn baby told a midwife she had been unaware she was pregnant, a court has heard.

A 15-YEAR-OLD girl jointly accused with her teenage boyfriend of killing their newborn baby told a midwife she had been unaware she was pregnant, a court has heard.

The girl told Rosemary Goodsell it was not until her waters broke half an hour before the birth that she realised what was happening.

Giving evidence at Ipswich Crown Court yesterday, Mrs Goodsell, a midwife at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, said she had been assigned to look after the girl in October last year after she had been brought to the hospital with her dead baby.

The girl had told her she had given birth at 2am in the downstairs toilet of her home in the Eye area.


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“She said she had been on her own when she had given birth. She said nobody had woken up,” Mrs Goodsell told the court. “She stated she had not realised she was pregnant until her waters had gone about half an hour before the baby was born. She told me she was taking oral contraception.”

The midwife said the girl had told her she was having regular periods and assumed everything to be normal. But on October 6, she had spent most of the day feeling unwell, suffering with stomach pains.

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“She thought she had a tummy bug,” said Mrs Goodsell.

The prosecution alleges the girl and her boyfriend killed the baby boy and dumped his body in an alleyway after a secret birth at her parents' home.

The baby, which had allegedly been covered with grass and leaves, was later found to have suffered a fractured skull and a broken arm which the prosecution say could not have been caused accidentally.

The girl, now 16, and the boy, who is 17, deny murder. They cannot be named for legal reasons.

Mrs Goodsell said the girl had told her she had managed to catch the baby after delivering it to stop it falling in the toilet.

“They told me after half an hour the baby stopped crying and looked pale and stopped breathing. Her partner said he tried to perform mouth to mouth resuscitation on the baby and wasn't sure what he was doing,” she said.

Mrs Goodsell told the court she had later examined the baby and had noticed a prominent nodule to the left side of the skull as well as red marks on the baby's cheeks and superficial scratch marks on the arm. She said the baby's right arm also appeared “misshapen” and the baby had a blade of grass loosely fisted in his hand.

Earlier in the trial, the court heard that the couple had met on the internet in 2006. When the girl was 14 her boyfriend had moved in with her family and after a short period they had been allowed to share a double bed.

Late on October 6 last year the girl had complained to her parents, who were unaware she was pregnant, of having a stomach ache and they had gone to bed after advising her to take pain killers. During the night they did not hear anything untoward.

The prosecution allege that after the birth, the boy had asked two of his brothers for help and had led them to an alleyway near his girlfriend's home where they found the baby lying face down, covered in grass and leaves.

The body was allegedly placed in a sports bag and at 12.40pm on October 7 the boy had dialled 999 saying his girlfriend had given birth at 2am and the baby had died.

The trial continues today.

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