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Woman admits killing baby boy she wanted to adopt as cruel text messages revealed

A girl has admitted killing a child boy positioned in her care who she and her husband hoped to undertake.

Laura Castle admitted to the manslaughter of Leiland-James Corkill, who died after struggling accidents ‘consistent with an assault’ at their Barrow-in-Furness residence.

The 38-year-old denies murdering the kid, Lancs Live studies.

Prosecutor Michael Brady QC, informed Preston Crown Court that Leiland-James was positioned within the care of the defendant and her husband Scott, 34, after they had been accredited for adoption by Cumbria City Council in August 2020.

They had been described as ‘optimistic’ with a ‘youngster pleasant’ residence within the preliminary levels of the adoption course of, the jury heard.

But inside days of taking the infant residence, it grew to become clear Laura Castle was struggling, Mr Brady QC mentioned.

In the months that adopted, ‘frustration turned to hostility’ and ‘bodily abuse culminated in homicide’, he informed the court docket.

In textual content messages, the couple regularly referred to as the infant “k***head”, “d***” and “sh**bag” and spoke of “leathering him” and “tanning his arse”.

The day before Leiland-James died, Scott Castle told his wife “a good, hard slap might stop him being a k***head”.

In September 2020, Laura Castle messaged her husband saying she needed to stop smacking the baby, adding: “If I start I’ll not stop at one point and it’s not getting us anywhere and then I feel bad.”

Scott Castle responded by saying he didn’t like Leiland-James both, including: “He is a d*** baby. I don’t think any of us want to be that person. You aren’t failing baby, I think you’re doing an amazing job.”

The pair discussed returning Leiland-James to the care system but said other family members loved him, and considered a £170 fee they would incur ‘a waste of money’, Mr Brady QC said.

In November 2020 social workers dealing with the adoption process expressed concerns when Laura Castle said she did not love Leiland-James.

Social worker Beth Taylor reported “they feel as they are babysitting him and have to keep him as everyone else in the wider family loves him”.

In December, case supervisor Penny Hindle, informed the couple she wouldn’t approve the ultimate levels of the adoption course of till additional therapeutic work had taken place to cope with attachment and bonding within the household.

A call was taken to supply classes within the New Year however on January 6 2021, Laura Castle referred to as 999 to report Leiland-James had fallen from a settee and was unresponsive.

He was taken to Furness General Hospital earlier than being transferred to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital the place an MRI scan confirmed he had a bleed on the mind and a number of bruises to his head. He was deeply unconscious and critically ailing, Mr Bailey QC mentioned.

During the switch to Alder Hey, Laura Castle mentioned she had solely left Leiland-James for a minute to take the dishes out when she heard a bang. She mentioned: “I’m going to prison for this.”

At 3.30pm, Leiland-James was pronounced lifeless. Doctors had been unconvinced by Laura Castle’s rationalization as to how Leiland-James had come about his accidents. Consultant pathologist Dr Alison Armour carried out a publish mortem and was of the opinion that a lot of the accidents to the physique, head and face had been according to assault.

The bruising to the pinnacle and face had been according to slapping, gripping, pinching, prodding and poking. A black bruise to the fitting higher lip and lengthening onto the liner of the fitting higher lip may very well be according to forcible insertion of an object maybe a bottle/consuming cup, Dr Armour mentioned.

Mr Bailey QC mentioned: “The textual content messages on the defendants’ cellular telephones reveal that within the months main as much as Leiland-James’s dying the Castles had referred to him in aggressive and unsightly phrases.

“They had discussed Laura Castle’s use of unlawful physical chastisement in relation to Leiland-James. The Crown says that Scott Castle was not only aware of how his wife behaved towards Leiland-James but, actively encouraged it.

Scott Castle is accused of causing or allowing the death of a child and both parents are charged with child cruelty.

Mr Bailey QC said: “He (Scott Castle) placed his relationship with Laura Castle before his obligation to protect Leiland-James, telling her that she was doing an amazing job and that she wasn’t an abusive parent. He was wrong on both counts.

“He refused to act upon the very clear and repeated assertions made by Laura Castle that she was harming Leiland-James. She even acknowledged at one point that she might not stop.

“Rather than taking steps to prevent any more harm coming to Leiland-James he acquiesced in and encouraged his wife’s actions and even blamed Leiland-James for the situation.

“He could nicely have been asleep on the time his spouse murdered Leiland-James however that doesn’t absolve him of the duty he had previous to that to guard Leiland-James. A duty of which he was conscious and which he ignored.

“The Castles’ general behaviour went beyond bad parenting and amounted to cruelty. Laura Castle’s cruelty to Leiland-James is admitted in the messages to Scott Castle.

“Scott Castle’s cruelty may not have been on the same scale as his wife’s, but he endorsed and encouraged his wife’s treatment of Leiland-James and on his own admission repeatedly hit Leiland-James.”

Laura Castle denies homicide and cruelty. Scott Castle denies cruelty and inflicting or permitting the dying of a kid. The trial is anticipated to final every week.



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