The partner of a woman who is charged with murdering their baby son told a jury how after the death he received a text from her saying that what she had done would always hurt her.

Hannah Turtle said she would do anything “to get out of this nightmare”.

Ian Hughes, a former soldier and Territorial Army member, was called by the prosecution on the second day of Turtle’s trial at Mold Crown Court.

He said she had told him at the start of their relationship that she had experienced mental health problems.

There were a few visits to hospital when Turtle, 22, was pregnant with James because she said she had slipped or fallen. 

Mr Hughes said Turtle seemed happy during the pregnancy.

James was in a cot next to their bed after they returned home.

Turtle said she felt a bit stressed and under the weather when he went back to work after having two weeks off following the birth.

Mr Hughes said he had no concerns about Turtle.

On the first occasion when he could not breathe, he said he was sitting at the computer in the bedroom with his back towards her when Turtle starting screaming that James was not breathing and turning blue. 

Mr Hughes called the emergency services and James started breathing again but was very limp, he said.

He was taken to the Countess of Chester Hospital for a couple of days.

James was discharged but rushed again to hospital after another episode. 

Between the first episode on May 31, 2016 and the second incident on June 3 she never said she was struggling to cope and Mr Hughes never had any concerns about how she was coping.

On the third occasion he was in work. He had put James in his cot before he left.

He said James was a bit niggly and he tried to calm him down but later police turned up at his workplace and he grabbed his stuff and went to hospital where he was told James had stopped breathing.

He got a message to say he had started breathing again but doctors said it was “not good”.

Turtle at no stage indicated that she had done anything to him, he said in answer to David Elias QC, prosecuting.

After James died, Mr Hughes said he was given time off work to get his head sorted.

He spent time with Turtle but was not aware that she was having any difficulties coping.

Mr Hughes said that later, after speaking to the police, Turtle was in hospital and he confirmed that he had received text messages from her in September which included “What I did to James will always hurt me” and “I would do anything to get out of this nightmare”.

He later became aware that Turtle had made admissions, he said.

Cross-examined by Gordon Cole QC, Mr Hughes said he never had any concern about her own health or her ability to look after James.

Mr Cole said in May 2016 they had been to a GP who had described Turtle as “tearful, anxious and with thoughts of self-harm”.

Mr Hughes said he could not remember that but said she was feeling ill and a bit down.

She had not expressed thought of self-harm to him, he said.

Mr Hughes, who was in the army for 14 years and who had been left with mild post-traumatic stress syndrome, said her medication was kept in the drawer with his medals because she could overdose on them. He agreed he had said in his statement that the drawer was kept locked.

He would give her a sheet out of it to last a few days.

Mr Hughes said she had not gone to the doctor because she felt like killing herself.

She had earlier miscarried after a fall in work and immediately became pregnant again with James and was happy.

Throughout her pregnancy he had no concerns about her killing or hurting herself.

She had never mentioned hearing voices in her head, he said.

Mr Cole described her as a young woman with real problems who was expecting his baby.

Mr Hughes agreed that initially she had said  she wanted her mother present at the birth but he said she changed her mind when she went into labour.

It was her decision, he said.

He alleged there had been difficulties between Turtle and her father and he said he rang them from the hospital before James was born.

Mr Hughes said they would not listen and he told them that if he caught them anywhere near the hospital  he would kill them.

Mr Cole said they wanted to be there and she wanted her mother there but Mr Hughes said that it was her choice, that she had changed her mind.

Mr Hughes agreed that Turtle had mentioned to him that she had cut herself in the past but he said he did not notice scars on her arms.

She had also not told him that she had put bleach into the cuts which really hurt.

Asked if she made him aware that she had kept someone by false imprisonment, a psychiatrist or nurse, he said she had said something about it happening when she was a teenager.

They had split up for some two weeks before James was born, the court heard.

Turtle, 22, from Ryeland Street in Shotton, accepts that she stopped James breathing on three occasions within a 10-day period in 2016.

It was the third episode which led to his death.

Turtle says she did not intend to kill seven-week-old James, who died on June 13, 2016, or to cause him really serious harm.

She denies murder, three charges of ill-treatment and two of administering poison.

The trial, which is proceeding, is expected to last up to three weeks.