Northern Ireland news

Toddler murder trial hears mother's police interviews

The 41-year-old woman has gone on trial accused of the murder of her toddler son and attempted murder of his baby brother

A WOMAN who killed her toddler son and almost killed his baby brother tearfully denied to police that she knew what she was doing, a jury has heard.

Antrim Crown Court also heard the 41-year-old claimed her last memory before waking up in a hospital intensive care unit was being in the playroom with the two boys.

The transcript of the defendant’s police interviews were read and jurors heard how detectives put to her that she drugged the boys, drugged herself, texted her fiancée, wrote several notes, took the boys and a knife upstairs to the bedroom and stabbed them in their necks and abdomen in a "calculated way".

She is on trial accused of murdering her son who was two months short of his third birthday and the attempted murder of his 11-month-old brother on March 2, 2020.

The jury has already heard evidence the “highly qualified nurse” put multiple morphine pain relief patches on the children before stabbing them in the bedroom of the family home in Magheramorne outside Larne.

It is the Crown case that she either intended to kill them or at least cause serious harm. The defence argues that at the time, she was suffering from an abnormality of mind which substantially impaired her thinking, decision making and perception of consequences.

Interviewed by police four times the accused said her last memories of the Monday morning were of her older children leaving for school, playing with the boys in the playroom and calling her fiancée. Her next memory, she said, was “like I was being pulled through a tunnel” before waking up in hospital.

The jury has already heard evidence from the boys’ father that shortly after his fiancé rang to ask if they could talk and he suggested leaving the issue until he was home from work, he received text messages saying she had killed the boys.

In court on Monday, the jury heard that the defendant told police she could remember the first phone call but not a second or the text messages. She also said while she remembered beginning to write notes while sitting with the boys in the playroom, she couldn’t remember the full extent of them but did confirm it was her handwriting on them.

The jury heard that amongst them, the defendant had written how “I’m doing this to hurt the ones who hurt me and who are continuing to hurt me; I’m taking my kids with me because I can’t leave them with their dad; he is a horrible person; doesn’t have any empathy; please understand I love my kids; I really don’t want to do this; I don’t want to do this but I feel I have no choice.”

At one stage during the third interview, the officers try to show her the vegetable paring knife she used to stab the boys but her solicitor interjects.

In the final interview, the officers put to the accused “were you doing this to punish your partner, is that what your intent was?"

"No I love motherhood,” replied the defendant, “I love my kids, I love everything about it. I would never hurt any of them.”

The trial continues.

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