Christina Robinson trial: County Durham mother accused of murdering her son, 3, sacks her legal team

Christina Robinson. Credit: Durham Police

A County Durham mother accused of murdering her son has sacked her legal team the day after finishing giving evidence.

Christina Robinson is standing trial at Newcastle Crown Court accused of burning, caning and killing her three-year-old son, Dwelaniyah, at their home in County Durham. She denies murder and child cruelty.

Robinson gave evidence on Wednesday 13 March, and the following day, denying shaking the youngster to death or deliberately burning him by putting him in scalding water.

The case was due to move onto the next stage on Friday but did not do so after she decided to dispense with the services of her barristers and solicitors.

Dwelaniyah Robinson's had suffered burns and bruises leading up to his death, the court has heard. Credit: Durham Police

Trial judge Mr Justice Garnham, who allowed Robinson to sit where her barrister had been sitting, along with a dock officer, told the jury: "There's been a development which has delayed us which I need to tell you about.

"Ms Robinson has decided to dispense with the services of her barristers and solicitors. She's entitled to do that.

"Nobody is required to have a legal team representing them or have a particular legal team representing them. She decided to sack, effectively, her solicitors and barristers.

"The question arises about how we proceed without them being here. We've decided she should have the rest of the day to consider her position and consult with other people if she wishes before we go to the next stage of the case.

"It means we can do nothing further today."

Robinson, 30, is accused of killing Dwelaniyah at the family home at Bracken Court, Ushaw Moor, Durham, in November 2022.

The defendant, who is a follower of the Black Hebrew Israelites religion, told the jury that prior to his death, she hit him with a bamboo garden cane as a "correction" for playing with his food.

She explained she was following a YouTube video about the religion which talked about the Bible encouraging the use of the rod for discipline. But she has denied violently shaking him, causing a fatal brain injury, claiming he collapsed while eating.

She is also accused of deliberately scalding the little boy's legs and buttocks in extremely hot water as a punishment for soiling himself, around three weeks before his death.

Robinson, originally from Tamworth, Staffordshire, has told jurors that the boy was accidentally burned while she washed him in the shower.

The trial continues.

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know...