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Mum of ‘shaken’ baby was scared to leave infant alone with her sibling, court hears

Aberdeen High Court
Aberdeen High Court

The mother of an infant left with severe injuries in an alleged attack by her babysitter was chastised by nurses in the days after for sleeping in the same bed as her.

The child, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was taken to hospital on New Year’s Day 2017 with bleeding on her brain and in her eyes.

Syeda Sokina Begum, who was looking after the child at her home in the hours leading up to the incident, is on trial at the High Court in Aberdeen accused of “repeatedly shaking” her to the “danger of her life”. She denies the charge.

Yesterday the infant’s mother was cross-examined by defence agent Frances Connor, who read from a number of medical records compiled during the child’s stay at Royal Aberdeen Children’s Hospital.

Aberdeen infant was ‘floppy’ and unresponsive after alleged attack by babysitter

She was asked: “Did they explain the risks of sleeping with a baby so small in the same bed?”

“I can’t remember,” the mum replied.

Miss Connor then read a note in the medical file which said: “’Mum had the baby in bed with her again – told reasons this was not allowed.”

But the mother said she could not recall this.

The defence agent then pointed to the minutes of a meeting between the parents, doctors, social workers and police as part of an investigation into the baby’s injuries.

Miss Connor said: “No-one had mentioned the word ‘shaking’ to you, had they?

“But at that meeting your husband asked if shaking could cause (the injuries).”

She added that the notes said a husband’s friend has suggested it to him.

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However the mum denied that neither she nor her husband had spoken during the meeting, adding: “I can’t remember. We were not allowed to speak.”

Miss Connor also pointed to a passage which said the mother had been told on two occasions that it was dangerous for her to sleep in the same bed as the baby.

When asked about these, the mum was unable to recall the conversations.

Earlier in the day the mother said she was so afraid that her eldest child would hurt the baby daughter that she had to take the infant into the room with her whenever she had to use the bathroom.

Aberdeen babysitter accused of putting girl’s life in danger after ‘shaking’ the infant so hard she bled from her brain

Miss Connor asked the mother about a series of alleged violent incidents surrounding the child.

She said: “Do you remember, before the baby was taken to hospital, that (a colleague) raised a concern with you that your older child was rough-handling the baby and had grabbed her head and shook it?”

“I don’t remember,” the mum replied.

Medical examiners are expected to give evidence regarding the infant’s injuries in the coming days.

The trial continues.

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