1. ITV Report

Mother who killed her son gives evidence in his inquest

Christy Ruddell died in August 2010 Photo: ITV Tyne Tees

The inquest has begun into the death of two year old Christy Ruddell, who was killed by his mother Melanie. She carried his body into Peterlee police station in August 2010. She later admitted his manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

Mrs Ruddell gave evidence via videolink from the hospital where she is now being treated for her mental illness. Mrs Ruddell told the inquest she had been 'a happy mam at home with Christy' but she had begun experiencing hallucinations. She said 'My reality was different to other people's reality.'

The coroner was told that friends and family became so worried about Mrs Ruddell that they arranged for her to be taken to the University Hospital of Hartlepool. But the inquest heard that Mrs Ruddell did not want to stay in order to be seen by a specialist team. She told the court 'I just wanted to get home to see Christy'.

The inquest also heard from Mrs Ruddell's friend Carol Anne Beeston. She described Mrs Ruddell as a 'really good mother' but said that in the days leading up to Christy's death it became 'very obvious that something was desperately wrong with Melanie.' She added that it was 'like someone else was in Melanie's body'.

Ms Beeston told the coroner she had not wanted her friend to leave hospital. She said: 'I was actually begging them to keep her in.'

The inquest, in Sunderland, is continuing and is expected to last up to a fortnight.

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