Portsmouth mother goes on trial accused of murdering her baby

Nicola Brown is on trial at Winchester Crown Court
Nicola Brown is on trial at Winchester Crown Court

A MUM accused of murdering her 19-day-old baby called herself a ‘ticking time bomb’, a court has heard.

Jurors were told it ‘could only have been’ Nicola Brown who murdered her son Jake Long.

Jason Brown is on trial at Winchester Crown Court

Jason Brown is on trial at Winchester Crown Court

Jake died after an ‘impact to his head’ and may have been ‘shaken violently’, Winchester Crown Court heard.

The child’s mother 43-year-old Nicola Brown, formerly Long, is on trial charged with the boy’s murder.

Nigel Lickley QC, prosecuting, told the court baby Jake died on December 19 in 2014, after being born in a ‘concealed pregnancy’.

The child had been born into his mother’s pyjamas, or tracksuit bottoms, on December 1 at home in Agincourt Road, Portsmouth, but no medics had been told of the pregnancy until the day of his birth, Mr Lickley said.

Jake died at Southampton General Hospital after suffering a ‘rapid change’ on December 19.

His mother had called 999 that morning and called the child’s father Jason Brown at work, Mr Lickley said.

He added: ‘Very shortly before that 999 call at 10.26am he suffered a very serious injury, including a fracture to his skull, brain injury and retinal, that is bleeding at his eyes, from an impact to his head that required substantial force. He may have been shaken violently.

‘As a result of that force and impact, Jake was probably, most probably, rendered unconscious.

‘He never recovered and despite treatment at the Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth and later at Southampton General where he was transferred.

‘He was certified dead at 9.23pm that day.

‘His change from normal to being severely injured, you will hear from experts, was rapid – it’s called a collapse.

‘It doesn’t mean he fell, it’s a collapse in his demeanour, a rapid change would have been certainly after the impact to the head. Jake was 19 days old at the time. His mother called 999 at 10.26am saying he wasn’t well.’

Mr Lickley added: ‘She said she was feeding him when he stopped breathing.

‘She attributed his condition to a feel the day before when he, it would appear, had fallen out of his Moses basket.

‘Before her 999 call, Nicola Brown called Jason Brown at work to speak to him.

‘Mr Brown left work and travelled by bus to Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth, telling his employer that his boy had stopped breathing.’

Jake had been examined by medics after his birth and had not suffered an injury while being born, jurors were told.

But when he was examined on his death, medics discovered further injuries caused 10 to 15 days before his death, and three to five days prior, Mr Lickley said.

He added: ‘She is charged with murder of her son Jake, she was the adult with him at the time of the fatal injury.

‘The father had been out at work and had been for some time. Because Jake’s deterioration was so rapid the person who injured him could only be his mother.’

Jason Brown, 44, is accused of causing or allowing the death of the infant.

The crown’s case is that he failed to protect his son.

‘His job as a father was to protect him but he failed to discharge that basic parental duty,’ Mr Lickley told jurors.

During their stay in hospital the couple argued and they were in a ‘volatile relationship,’ jurors were told.

Concerns were raised at the time, Mr Lickley said.

In messages read to the jury from December 11, Nicola Brown said she and Jason Brown were ‘ticking time bombs’, due to sleepless weekends. She had said she did not tell medics about the pregnancy due to a previous cancer scare as she was ‘messed up in the head’.

The pair married after the death, the court heard.

Nicola Brown, of Seymour Close, Buckland, denies murder. She also denies two counts of grievous bodily harm with intent against the infant, relating to injuries discovered after Jake’s death.

Jason Brown, also of Seymour Close, denies causing or allowing the death of the child.

The trial is set to last four weeks. Proceeding