A foster mother admitted before a court in England that she “violently shook” a one-year-old baby to stop him crying. Baby Leiland-James Corkill died on January 7 last year, a day after suffering brain injuries at the home of his prospective adoptive parents – Laura Castle and her husband, Scott.
Ms Castle had hoped to adopt the baby. But emergency services were called to their home in Barrow, Cumbria, after an unfortunate incident.
Ms Castle had initially claimed that the baby accidentally fell off the sofa at her home, but last week admitted his manslaughter ahead of her trial at Preston trial court, the BBC reported. The 38-year-old has, however, denies murder.
Baby Leiland-James was handed over to the care of Ms Castle and her husband in August 2020, before the formal adoption process, according to Daily Mail.
When the hearing began, the court was told that the couple struggled to bond with the baby, and even referred to him by aggressive names. On the fateful day (January 6, 2021), Ms Castle told the jurors that Leiland-James was “screaming” after breakfast. When pressed by her barrister, Ms Castle admitted she had shaken the baby and that he had hit his head on the arm of the sofa and fell off her knee.
The Daily Mail published the transcript of the exchange between the woman and her barrister, David McLachlan QC.
“I shook my beautiful boy. I just wanted him to stop crying,” she said, breaking down in court. The lawyer asked, “How many times did you shake him?” to which she replied: “I don’t know.”
Mr McLachlan further pressed her by asking, “How much force did you use to shake him?” Ms Castle replied: “I don’t know but I would say a lot.”
After the accident, Ms Castle said she picked up the baby whose “hands were stiff” and “he was gasping”.
The lawyer then went on, asking the woman why she did not tell anyone what had happened. “I don’t have an excuse. I just panicked. I was just terrified of the consequences of my actions and ashamed.”
The woman also said that she suffered from depression because of her inability to get pregnant and had always wanted children.