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Trial begins of mother Hannah Turtle accused of murdering baby son

Credit: Andrew Price/North Wales Police

A woman told police how she heard voices telling her that she was a bad mum and did not deserve her baby – before she went on to suffocate him, a court has heard.

Hannah Turtle, 22, from Shotton in North Wales, accepts that she stopped baby James from breathing on three occasions within a ten day period and it was the third episode which led to his death.

The jury heard she also admitted that she had placed her own anti-depressant drug in his milk bottle on one occasion.

But Turtle denies murder and says she did not intend to kill seven week old James or to cause him really serious harm.

Prosecuting barrister David Elias, QC, said the defendant on three separate occasions deliberately harmed her son by restricting his breathing.

He died after the third occasion from suffocation.

Mr Elias said that she was careful to ensure that no one witnessed what she did.

“We may never know why exactly she did this,” said Mr Elias.

“The prosecution say that she knew what she was doing and she knew the serious harm she was causing her young son.”

The court heard that James was resuscitated twice after Ms Turtle restricted his breathing on two occasions on 31 May and 3 June 2016.

Then on 6 June, the prosecution say she murdered him.

Mr Elias said that she put her hand over nose and mouth and stopped him breathing despite the fact that he was struggling against her.

James died after he suffered brain damage from a lack of oxygen and blood, on June 13 at 58 days old.

“The prosecution say that he was killed by his mother,” the prosecutor said.

Turtle initially denied being responsible but then told a social worker and repeated it to a nurse that she had killed him.

She said she needed help and had heard voices telling her that she did not deserve James.

“I wish I had never done it.

“I know I need help,” she said.

The jury was told that when refused permission to go to the funeral she made false allegations against her partner.

But in a later letter to the police she admitted that she was responsible.

Turtle denies murder, three charges of ill-treatment and two of administering poison.

The trial is expected to last up to three weeks .