Mum relives trauma of her baby’s death

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A MOTHER has relived cradling her baby in her arms for the last time, shortly before he fell into unconsciousness as a result of a catastrophic brain injury.

Kelly Whitworth’s former partner Liam Laverick, 25, is on trial for the manslaughter of his son Tommy-Lee, who was less than a month old when he died last September.

Prosecutors say the baby was fatally injured, by shaking or throwing, when Mr Laverick was in sole charge at their flat in Linnaeus Street, Hull.

Giving evidence at Hull Crown Court Miss Whitworth, 23, said Mr Laverick, who already had a 15-month-old son with her and another young child with a former partner, had not been happy when he found out another child was on its way.

“He was not very happy, he was mostly shocked,” she told the jury. “He wasn’t ready for another child.”

She took on the lion’s share of the work with the new baby and it got on her partner’s nerves when Tommy-Lee did not stop crying.

One the afternoon of the tragedy, she had fed and winded the baby on a sofa in the living room before leaving him in his pram at the foot of the bed where Mr Laverick was having a lie-down with the other child, while she went to her sister’s for half an hour.

She recalled “I cradled him and he fell asleep in my arms and I wrapped him up and put him in his pram.”

Asked whether she would have left him if she had any concerns for him, she replied: “No I wouldn’t; I would never leave him.”

Minutes later Mr Laverick appeared outside the block of flats where her sister lived with the child in his arms “panicking and hysterical.” The child’s face was green and she thought he was dead.

She started running towards Hull Royal Infirmary, followed at some distance by Mr Laverick, who pushed Tommy-Lee some way in the pram, then abandoned it. “The only thing I wanted to do was get straight to the hospital, I just ran and ran,” she said.

Mr Laverick has given various explanations of what happened, including telling Miss Whitworth he had fallen over with Tommy-Lee in the flat and that his trousers had fallen down as he ran along. But asked by prosecutor Nicholas Lumley QC whether she had actually seen this happen as she glanced back, she replied: “No.”

Both were arrested after the baby died at Leeds General Infirmary and when she was released on bail, he told her that the baby had been sick. She said: “He told me he wiped the sick off the side of his face round his mouth; he also said he tripped over a lamp in the hallway and that his jeans fell down when he was running.”

Mr Lumley also asked Miss Whitworth about a police statement in which she said Mr Laverick had told her after finding the baby with vomit on his face he had gently shaken him saying: “‘Wake up, wake up.’”

Mr Lumley said: “Did he use that word shake?” She replied: “Shook him gently - that’s what he said to me.”

He asked: “Did you look up shaken babies as a result of what Liam said to you? She replied: “Yes.”

The court has already heard medical evidence suggesting shaking was the best explanation for the “group” of injuries the baby suffered, including bleeding into the tiny spaces between his skull and brain, his eyes and spinal cord.

Tahir Khan QC, defending, reminded Miss Whitworth of an incident the previous day, where both had panicked after Tommy-Lee went pale and white. Miss Whitworth explained how Mr Laverick used his finger to clear the child’s airway of a string of mucus and the baby then returned to his normal self.

She agreed that once Tommy-Lee’s impending birth sank in Mr Laverick was supportive.

Mr Laverick, of Beeford Close, Hull, denies manslaughter. The case continues.