Portsmouth mum jailed for killing infant son

Nicola Brown
Nicola Brown
A man was rescued from the water off Portchester

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A MUM has been jailed after being found guilty of murdering her 19-day-old infant son.

Nicola Brown was last year convicted of murder and two counts of grievous bodily harm with intent against Jake Long.

Nicola Brown

Nicola Brown

Today at Winchester Crown Court she was jailed for life with a minimum term of 14-and-a-half years.

At a trial that was longer than the baby’s life, Brown told jurors she did not know how the infant suffered the fatal head injury that led to his death on December 19, 2014.

During the trial prosecutor Nigel Lickley QC said Jake suffered rib fractures likely caused from 'squeezing’ by an adult.

'The fatal head injury the infant suffered caused a rapid collapse’, the prosecutor said.

Jake Long

Jake Long

Concerns were raised at Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham, where Jake had been taken after he was born in what prosecutors said was a 'concealed pregnancy’ as Brown did not tell medics she was pregnant.

Social services were informed after the birth. Jake was deemed 'at risk’ but not of immediate harm, the court heard.

Midwives had visited their home on December 5 and 10 but no concerns for the baby’s wellbeing were raised.

He was born into his mother’s pyjama-type trousers after paramedics were called to Agincourt Road, Buckland, on December 19.

He was nicknamed Bungee due to the unusual nature of his birth.

It was the same house where she made an emotional 999 call, telling the operator Jake was not breathing. She told the jury Jake fell from his Moses basket the day before his death.

Mr Lickley previously told the jury: '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 bleeding, 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 Hospital where he was transferred, he was certified dead at 9.23pm that day.’

Brown, 43, told the jury during her four-week trial that she had 'panicked and shook’ Jake when he stopped breathing around the time of call.

The infant’s father, forklift truck Jason Brown, 44, also of Seymour Close, was away at work in Waterlooville, when Nicola Brown, formerly Long, was looking after their newborn son.

Mr Brown, who married Jake’s mother after his death, was cleared of causing or allowing the death of a child.

Brown, of Seymour Close, Buckland, had sobbed and shouted as the foreman read out the verdicts but was silenced by the judge, Mr Justice James Dingemans.

'I didn’t do it. I did not do it, ’ she said, before adding: '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.’

Portsmouth Safeguarding Children’s Board is holding a serious case review.

Reg Hooke Portsmouth Safeguarding Children's Board chair said: 'This tragic case of the death of 19-day-old baby Jake Long, has prompted a safeguarding investigation and we are currently undertaking a Serious Case Review.

'We are still conducting interviews and our findings will be published once that has been completed.'

Nicola Brown, who suffered anxiety and high blood pressure, had told jurors: '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.’

Jurors took six hours and eight minutes at Winchester Crown Court to return majority guilty verdicts over the killing and the two GBH charges, relating to 17 rib fractures Jake suffered.