A murder trial jury has heard how a young mum allegedly smiled as she told a social worker she had killed her son.

Hannah Turtle from Deeside admits that on three occasions over a 10-day period in 2016 she suffocated her seven-week-old son James but she denies murder.

Mold Crown Court was told senior social worker Fleur O’Hagan and a colleague saw Turtle before her police interview because of their fear that she would self-harm.

It was arranged that she would return after the police interview – in which she denied any wrongdoing - and Mrs O’Hagan said she was with a colleague when Turtle said she had something to tell her.

She then said that she had killed James.

Turtle said James had been sleeping and she had put her hand over his mouth for a few seconds and he had stopped breathing.

She said she had not done it before and had not been able to tell police because there had been too many people there.

The social worker said she wanted to empathise with her and suggested the baby might have been crying but she said no, that he was asleep in his crib.

Turtle had said: “I just put my hand over his face for a few seconds and he stopped breathing.

“It was either this or self-harming.”

She went out to tell the police and when she returned, her mood had changed.

Turtle then said she had heard the voice of a family member in her head – she did not know who – telling her she was a bad mother and that was why she had done it.

The social worker said Hannah was distressed about her partner Ian Hughes and his mother Kathleen Hughes finding out what she had done to James.

She had been talking about something very sad but she was smiling which was unusual, she said.

Asked if she was showing any particular emotion, she replied: “No , not in the way that you would expect.”

Nigel Blacoe, a community mental health nurse, said after his colleague left the room that Turtle repeated the account of killing James to him.

She told him that she needed help and she had been hearing voices telling her that she was a bad mother and that she did not deserve James.

Turtle said she just wanted help, that the voices would not stop and had returned to her after the birth of the baby.

They were saying negative things, calling her a bad mother and that she did not deserve him, the baby.

She said her partner had been looking after her medication and if there had been medication available she would have taken them all as a big overdose rather than harm the baby.

Turtle had said: “I just want help.”

She did not want to “get away with it” and sounded remorseful for what she said she had done, said Mr Blacoe.

She showed him a locket with a picture of the baby’s face inside, he said in answer to David Elias QC, prosecuting.

He agreed with Gordon Cole QC, defending, that on more than one occasion she said that what she wanted was help, that she had wanted to tell someone the day before and in the police interview, but could not bring herself to do so.

She also made it clear that she did not want to get away with it.

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

Turtle says she did not intend to kill seven-week-old James or to cause him really serious harm.

She denies murder, three charges of ill-treatment and two of administering poison amid allegations that she gave him her own anti-depression medication in his milk.


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