Murder trial: mother saw ‘light go out’ in infant’s eyes

Nicola Brown, 43, of Seymour Close, Buckland, is on trial accused of the murder of her infant son Jake Long
Nicola Brown, 43, of Seymour Close, Buckland, is on trial accused of the murder of her infant son Jake Long

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A MOTHER accused of killing her 19-day-old baby has told a court she saw the ‘light go out’ in her child’s eyes as he stopped breathing.

Nicola Brown, 43, is charged with the murder and two counts of causing grievous bodily harm with intent to Jake Long, who was born on December 1, 2014.

Baby Jake Long, who died aged 19 days old on December 19, 2014.

Baby Jake Long, who died aged 19 days old on December 19, 2014.

The trial at Winchester Crown Court heard that he died of a severe head injury and he suffered a total of 17 broken ribs on two previous occasions.

Jason Brown, Jake’s father, is accused of causing or allowing the death of a child.

The fatal incident happened while Nicola Brown was looking after the young baby at their home in Agincourt Road, Portsmouth, Hampshire, on December 19 2014, while Jason Brown, 44, was at work as a fork lift driver on a building site.

Describing the moment Jake became unwell, Nicola Brown, of Seymour Close Buckland, said: ‘He was asleep, he was clammy, sweaty, he didn’t take his feed and I said if he didn’t take his next feed properly I would take him to the doctor’s.

I didn’t do it and I didn’t see anyone else do it

Nicola Long

‘I was his mother and I loved him very much, he was half asleep, I tried to give him his bottle. He made a noise and I saw the lights go out of my son’s eyes and that’s a picture I will never forget for the rest of my life.’

Nicola Brown said that she had been concerned for Jake’s health and had taken him to see the GP on December 16 for symptoms including constipation, wheezing and a runny nose.

When asked if Jake had suffered violence causing him to stop breathing, she said: ‘I can’t comment on that because I didn’t see anything.

‘Personally I think I have been let down by the health services.’

She said the GP had told her to ‘prioritise’ her concerns about Jake and she added: ‘If I had prioritised better something would have been found sooner and I have to live with that.’

She told the jury she did not know how Jake had suffered 17 broken ribs which the court has heard was caused by an adult squeezing him.

She said: ‘I didn’t do it and I didn’t see anyone else do it.’

She also denied shaking the baby causing an earlier injury to his brain.

The jury has been told Nicola Brown had not informed her doctor that she was pregnant prior to Jake’s birth and social services were informed because of the ‘concealed pregnancy’.

When asked by Nigel Lickley QC, prosecuting, if Jake’s arrival had been ‘inconvenient’, she replied: ‘It actually led to the perfect family which was what I have always wanted.’

She added that she suffered from ‘general, social and separation’ anxiety disorders.

She said: ‘When I go into meltdown I get anxious, I get upset, I get tearful with myself, I get frustrated with myself. I get snappy and my mouth goes into overdrive.’

The defendants, who married after their son’s death, deny the charges.

Proceeding