Murder accused mother denies stabbing children 'out of spite and malice' towards their father

The woman is on trial accused of murdering her eight-week-old son and attempting to murder her two-year-old daughter.

A 30-year-old woman has denied killing one of her children and trying to kill the other "out of spite and malice" towards their father, a court heard on Tuesday.

It's the woman's second day in the witness box at Belfast Crown Court.

The accused was questioned about the double stabbing which occurred in the family home in the city on 27 July 2021.

She is currently on trial accused of murdering her eight-week-old son and attempting to murder her two-year-old daughter.

She has admitted she carried out the knife attack but has denied the charges.

During the 11th day of the hearing, the accused once again said that her partner both physically and sexually abused her during their relationship - and claimed she fell pregnant with her son as the result of a sexual assault carried out whilst on holiday.

Under cross-examination by Crown barrister Richard Weir KC, she was asked about diary entries she made the day of the fatal stabbing when she wrote she was taking her life and the lives of her children.

She wrote that she felt mocked and when asked about this entry, she said she felt she was being mocked by her partner's family.

When she was asked by Mr Weir if she felt her partner had "ruined" and "destroyed" her life, she replied "yes."

The accused was then asked if she had mentioned this to a psychiatrist following her arrest, to which she replied: "I don't remember what I told the doctor."

Regarding her partner, Mr Weir then asked if she had told the doctor 'he destroyed my life so I destroyed his' and she again answered: "I don't remember.'

The exchange continued when Mr Weir said: "The doctor has recorded it"

She replied: "I said he destroyed my life and my children's."

Mr Weir then said "the doctor has recorded you saying, 'I destroyed my life so I destroyed his" and this time she replied "yes" - and when she was asked what she meant by this, she said "I don't know what was going on in my mind saying that."

It was then put to the accused by Mr Weir that she killed one of her children and attempted to kill the other "out of spite and malice" towards her partner.

Denying this, she said "no it wasn' wasn't hate against him...I loved my children."

Earlier in the day she was questioned by defence barrister Charles MacCreanor, who asked her to explain to the jury how she injured her children.

She tearfully recalled stabbing her eight-week-old son in the chest whilst her daughter watched YouTube.

She said that after the stabbing, her son "started crying" - then she put pressure on his chest "to help him breathe" and to "help him stay alive".

Mr MacCreanor also asked about the knife attack on her daughter and she said that after injuring her daughter, she stabbed herself in the neck and chest.

When she was asked why she tried to injure herself, the accused replied: "I wanted to die together with them" and when questioned about why she wanted to die with her children, she said "for him (her partner) to be happy."

The accused was then asked what happened after she started stabbing herself and she said she stopped as her daughter "was calling me, Mummy Mummy."

When Mr MacCreanor asked her "what did you do?", she again broke down in tears and said "I held her in my arms and apologised to her.

"I said 'I'm sorry for what I did' and I tried to keep her awake so she didn't die as well."

The jury has already heard that after the accused called 999, both children were rushed to hospital and whilst the little girl underwent surgery and made a full recovery, her baby brother died from a knife wound to his chest.

Their mother is due to be called back to the witness box for a third time for further questioning on Wednesday.

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