Baby murder: 'Teen lied to protect mum'

A TEENAGER accused of murdering his newborn baby has claimed that he lied to police about what happened to the child because he wanted to protect his girlfriend.

Jane Hunt

A TEENAGER accused of murdering his newborn baby has claimed that he lied to police about what happened to the child because he wanted to protect his girlfriend.

The 17-year-old told a jury at Ipswich Crown Court that his 15-year-old girlfriend had given birth alone in the middle of the night at her parents' Suffolk home while he was asleep and the little boy was already dead when he saw him for the first time.

Giving evidence he said he thought his girlfriend had done something to the baby and at the time he had loved her and wanted to protect her. “She was my world,” he said.


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The youth and his girlfriend, who is now 16, are jointly accused of murdering their newborn baby on October 7 last year. They cannot be named for legal reasons.

On his first day in the witness box the boy described his shock at being woken up in the middle of the night by his girlfriend and being told that she had just given birth in a downstairs toilet and the baby had died.

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She had then taken him to a garden shed where he saw the baby lying on the floor with his head against a Wellington boot.

The boy said his girlfriend had picked up the baby and cuddled it before handing it to him. He said he noticed that the little boy had a misshapen arm and wasn't breathing.

He told the court he had asked his girlfriend what had happened. “She said she didn't want to speak about it and she'd done nothing wrong,” he said.

He claimed she then asked him to take the baby away and he had left it under a hedge in a nearby alleyway.

Afterwards he and his girlfriend had gone upstairs to their bedroom at her parents' house in the Eye area. “She got into bed and I sat next to her. I didn't believe what had happened. I was crying and emotional,” he told the court.

Asked by his barrister Patricia Lynch QC why he hadn't woken his girlfriend's parents he said that he wanted to tell them what had happened but his girlfriend hadn't wanted them to know.

He said he had spent the rest of that night trying to contact his brothers. “I was in such a state. I wanted someone else to handle it,” he said.

When his brothers arrived he had taken them to the hedge where he had left the baby and they had then taken the infant to the Gilchrist Birthing Unit in Eye where the emergency services were contacted.

The youth admitted lying to the police after his arrest but said this was because he thought his girlfriend had done something to the baby and he wanted to protect her.

Asked by Miss Lynch if he had harmed the baby the youth replied: “I didn't cause any of his injuries -not one.”

He also denied being present when the baby was injured and denied encouraging his girlfriend in any way.

He admitted knowing his girlfriend was pregnant and said it had crossed his mind that she might be in labour on the night the baby was born when she complained of having a stomach ache.

However, he had been tired after working all day and had to be up early the next day to play football, so he had gone upstairs to bed leaving her downstairs.

The court has heard that the girl gave birth in secret in a downstairs toilet at her parents' home in the middle of the night and the baby had died shortly afterwards. A post-mortem examination showed the little boy had suffered a fractured skull and a broken arm which the prosecution claim could not have been caused accidentally.

The trial continues today .

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