Baby murder trial jury hears evidence from hospital staff

A jury in the trial of a woman accused of murdering her eight-week-old son and attempting to murder his two-and-a-half year old sister has heard evidence from the hospital staff who treated them.

The woman, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, accepts she stabbed the children but denies the two charges.

On Monday, Belfast Crown Court also heard from a pathologist who examined the infant after his death in July 2021.

He told the court the baby boy sustained two stab wounds in close proximity to the chest.

These, he said, caused a large wound to the heart and an incision to the boy's left lung.

The pathologist said the knife injuries would have resulted in a "fairly rapid death", with "no more than moderate force" required.

A paediatric surgeon, who treated the boy's sister also gave evidence.

She told the court she was called into the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children on that night.

The surgeon said the little girl was alert but had a "penetrating chest injury".

She said the child, who had "no other obvious injuries" was "clearly unhappy".

The court was told blade of the knife used to stab the girl "had contact" with her heart, diaphragm and liver - and that she was "lucky" there wasn't a deeper penetration to her heart.

The surgeon said the little girl later underwent surgery to her diaphragm and has since made a full recovery.

The court also heard from an emergency doctor who treated the accused at the Royal Victoria Hospital.

He said she had self-inflicted stab wounds to both her neck and chest. The doctor told the court the woman spoke quietly during the medical assessment.

In her evidence, an A&E staff nurse said the accused told her she "didn't deserve" hospital treatment and "what I did was wrong", alleging she was being physically abused by the children's father.

Two PSNI constables who were with the accused in hospital both said she told them "it's all his fault", referencing a "black book" in her house and telling one of the officers "it's all in the diary in the kitchen".

The trial continues.

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