Christina Robinson trial: Mum accused of murder tells jury her son was 'starved of oxygen at birth'

Christina Robinson, 30, is on trial accused of murdering her son Dwelaniyah in November 2022. Credit: Durham Police

A mother accused of murdering her three-year-old son has told a jury he was starved of oxygen during his birth.

Christina Robinson, 30, is on trial accused of murdering her son, Dwelaniyah, at the family home in Bracken Court, Ushaw Moor, Durham, in November 2022.

She denies losing her temper and violently shaking the boy on the day he collapsed, never to recover, as well as a series of child cruelty offences said to have happened in the weeks before he died.

The jury at Newcastle Crown Court was told they can consider an alternative manslaughter charge, plus four child cruelty charges, all of which she denies.

The prosecution said she deliberately burned him by immersing him in hot water; that she used slaps, or the back of her hand, hit him with a bamboo cane, spoons and other implements; that she failed to get him medical treatment; and that she abandoned him by leaving him alone at home.

Robinson gave additional evidence from the witness box on Monday 18 March, having parted company with her legal team of barristers and a solicitor last week.

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

On the day he died, Robinson told the emergency services that her son collapsed while eating.

She told jurors about “complications Dwelaniyah had at birth”.

The defendant said: “He did get stuck on the way out, which I did need assistance for, and he was starved of oxygen for a while.

“His eye was bulged and blood-shot. I’m not saying that this could have led to what had happened but because no checks were done, we don’t know if there was any damage.”

She said her son bumped into things and banged his head and that he had appointments with eye specialists.

“We cannot say either way what effect it could have had over time, whether he was [at] higher risk of having something happen,” she said.

Mr Justice Garnham, setting out the legal directions to the jury, told them they must not allow themselves to be influenced by the “strong emotions” the case will cause.

He said: “You must not judge this case on the basis of feelings or sympathy or any emotional reaction you may have.”

Robinson, who is originally from Tamworth, Staffordshire, is a follower of the Black Hebrew Israelites religion, and told the jury that prior to his death, she hit him with a bamboo garden cane as a “correction” for playing with his food.

Robinson denies all charges. The trial continues.

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