Yeovil baby death: Parents appear in court charged with murdering two-week-old in hospital

Sophie Staddon and Daniel Gunter appeared at Taunton Magistrates Court. Credit: Google maps

The parents of a two-week-old baby have appeared in court charged with murder.

Sophie Staddon, 20, and Daniel Gunter, 25 are accused of killing baby Brendon Staddon at Yeovil District Hospital on 5 March.

Both defendants, of no fixed address, have also been charged with causing or allowing Brendon’s death.

That charge alleges that “being a member of the same household as and having had frequent contact” with Brendon, they either caused his death or did not protect him from a foreseeable “significant risk of serious physical harm”.

Brendon was two weeks old when he died at around 5am on Tuesday 5 March at the hospital, where he was an inpatient.

Staddon and Gunter appeared before Taunton Magistrates’ Court on Friday 8 March, where they spoke to confirm their name, date of birth and address.

During Staddon's court appearance, Presiding Justice Victoria McNiven told Staddon: “This matter is being sent to Bristol Crown Court on 11 March at 10am. In the meantime, you are being remanded in custody.”

Deborah Hodges appeared for the prosecution during the short hearing, while Tony Miles represented Staddon.

Avon and Somerset Police previously said officers were called to the hospital, where Brendon was an inpatient, by staff.

An investigation was launched by the force’s major crime investigation team a short time later.

Detective Inspector Mark Newbury, of Avon and Somerset Police, said: “This is a particularly tragic case in which a very young baby has died, and our thoughts are with Brendon’s loved ones during this time.

“We have been carrying out inquiries at the hospital this week, and we’re grateful to the Somerset NHS Foundation Trust and their staff for their assistance in enabling us to do this.”

Gunter and Staddon will next appear before Bristol Crown Court on March 11.

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