GUILTY: Portsmouth mum convicted of murdering 19-day-old son

A MOTHER has today been convicted of murdering her 19-day old infant son, two years to the day of his death.

Nicola Brown, 43, of Seymour Close, Buckland, was found guilty of killing Jake Long at their home in Agincourt Road, Buckland. He died on December 19, 2014.

Nicola Brown, 43, of Seymour Close, Buckland, was convicted of murdering her 19-day old son Jake Long at Winchester Crown Court

Nicola Brown, 43, of Seymour Close, Buckland, was convicted of murdering her 19-day old son Jake Long at Winchester Crown Court

As the jury at Winchester Crown Court returned their verdicts she shouted: ‘I didn’t do it. I did not do it.

‘I won’t shut up. They’ve made a huge mistake.

‘Oh my god. You have really got it wrong.

‘I hope this haunts you to the day you die.’

The court previously heard Jake suffered 17 rib fractures during his short life and died from a head injury.

The infant was born on December 1, 2014.

Concerns were raised at Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham and social services were informed.

The court heard Jake was deemed at risk but not of immediate harm.

Midwives visited the home twice but no concerns were raised.

A serious case review (SCR) is under way.

Nicola Brown and her husband Jason Brown, 44, of Seymour Close, Buckland, married after his death.

Fork lift truck driver Mr Brown, who was at work in Waterlooville when Jake’s mother called 999, was cleared of causing or allowing the infant’s death.

Nicola Brown was found guilty of murder and two counts of inflicting GBH with intent on majority verdicts after six hours and eight minutes of deliberations.

Mr Justice James Dingemans adjourned the case for the mother to be assessed by a psychiatrist before sentencing in January.

The judge remanded her into custody. She had been on bail during the trial.

The child had been born into his mother’s pyjamas, or tracksuit bottoms, on December 1 at home in Agincourt Road, Buckland, prosecutor Nigel Lickley QC previously told the jury.

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.

Mr Lickley said: ‘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 also 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 Hospital where he was transferred.

‘He was certified dead at 9.23pm that day.’

Nicola Brown, who suffers from anxiety and high blood pressure, had denied the charges.

In evidence she told the jury she had ‘panicked and shook’ Jake when he stopped responding during a feed.

‘I think I panicked and shook him when he wasn’t breathing,’ she said.

‘I was so scared I’m going to lose my baby boy.’

Mrs 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.

She also told jurors Jake could have been injured after falling out of his moses basket on December 18, a day before he died.

Speaking after the verdicts, senior investigating officer Detective Superintendent Scott MacKechnie said: ‘Although Nicola Brown has been brought to justice here today the fact is Jake’s death and subsequent trial is very sad and ultimately broken a family apart.

‘This will be a difficult time for Jake’s extended family and our thoughts go to them at this time. The treatment of new born Jake by his own mother is very upsetting and shocking.

‘This has been a complex investigation piecing together evidence of what occurred during Jake’s 19 days of life, to establish how he died and who was responsible.

‘Identifying and protecting people who need our help is a priority for Hampshire Constabulary. We will continue to work with partners to identify risk and share information through our multi-agency safeguarding hubs and work through the local safeguarding children boards in Portsmouth, Southampton, Hampshire and the IOW.’

Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust initially declined to comment until after the SCR is concluded.

But in a further statement a spokeswoman said: ‘The trust is desperately sad to hear what happened but it is not appropriate to say anything further while a Serious Case Review is underway.’

In a statement, Reg Hooke, Portsmouth Safeguarding Children’s Board, chair said: ‘The unexpected death of a child usually prompts safeguarding investigation and we are currently conducting a Serious Case Review into this tragic incident.

‘This will include considering any relevant factors arising from the criminal trial.

‘Our findings will be published once that has been done.’