Belfast trial told how mum accused of murder kissed children before attacking them with knife

The trial has opened of a mother accused of killing her baby son.

Harrowing details concerning the death of an eight-week-old baby stabbed by his mother were heard by a jury in Belfast on Thursday.

The mother - who can't be named for legal reasons - is accused of murdering the baby boy and attempting to murder his two-and-a-half-year-old sister in their Belfast home on July 27, 2021.

The jury of seven women and five men heard the 30-year-old woman kissed both children and told them she loved them before attacking them with a kitchen knife.

She accepts she stabbed the youngsters but has denied the two charges and is currently standing trial at Belfast Crown Court.

Both youngsters were rushed to the emergency department at the Royal Victoria Hospital for children and were treated as they lay side-by-side in the resus room.

Whilst the young girl was successfully treated for a stab wound to her chest, her baby brother was pronounced dead at 9pm.

Their mother wept in the dock as details surrounding the incident were presented to the jury.

The 12 members were told that while there was "no dispute about the facts of what happened", they would be asked by the defence to consider the accused's state of mind at the time and whether or not there was "diminished responsibility".

As he opened the Crown case, prosecuting barrister Richard Weir KC said that three days before the double stabbing, police attended the family home due to an allegation that the accused had been assaulted by her partner, the children's father.

Describing him as the accused's "erstwhile partner", Mr Weir said as a result of this he had gone to stay with relatives in England.

Mr Weir said it was the Crown's case that she called her partner at 8pm on July 27, 2021 and during the call she told him she loved him.

She also said she'd killed their son, had also attacked their daughter who was 'lying slowly bleeding' and that she intended to kill herself.

She rang the PSNI around 10 minutes later, repeated what she had done to her children and said 'I killed my kid for him (her partner), dirty b******d.'

Officers quickly responded, attended the address and had to force entry with a metal battering ram.

When asked what he observed after entering the living room, the officer said he saw a woman holding a young girl against her chest.

He said: "The little girl was screaming and she appeared to have a chest wound. I could see blood on her chest."

The officer said he then saw a baby lying on the bed, motionless. He said: "He was pale in colour and didn't appear to be breathing."

As the injured girl was removed from the living room by a colleague, the constable said he then began performing CPR on the baby - and continued this until the paramedics arrived.

When asked if the accused said anything at this point about the baby, the policeman said: "Yes, when I commenced CPR on the baby she said to me 'I wouldn't worry about him, he's dead. I stabbed him."

The jury also heard that whilst her children were rushed to the Royal, the accused was taken to the Mater and treated for minor self-inflicted wounds to her neck, chest and wrist.

When she was arrested on suspicion of murdering her son and attempted to murder her daughter, the accused said she went to the kitchen to get a knife but the baby smiled at her so she left the knife back in the kitchen.

She said a short time later she kissed both her children, told them she loved them and they would always be in her heart - then went back to the kitchen, lifted the knife then stabbed them.

Claiming there was a domestic background and that she was ill-treated by her partner, she also told police that he had a 'new woman' and that she wanted to take her life as well as the two children's so her partner 'could be happy.'

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.