Mother admits killing baby in house blaze

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The Independent Online

A depressed mother whose four-month-old son was killed in a house blaze that she said was started by intruders, admitted yesterday she started the fire.

Danielle Wails, 21, appeared at Newcastle Crown Court where she denied murder but admitted killing Alexander Gallon.

Following the fire at the house in the Cowgate area of Newcastle on 28 August 2005, police launched a manhunt after Wails claimed two masked men beat her unconscious and tied her up with telephone cord.

She told detectives that she was knocked unconcious and when she awoke the lounge was alight.

She said she used her tongue to dial 999 and shouted through the letterbox to neighbours, asking for help.

Wails, who had split from the boy's fatherafter a series of rows, was living in accommodation provided by a charity that helps single mothers.

The court heard that two psychiatrists agreed she was suffering from postnatal depression at the time.

The hearing was adjourned until 20 October for pre-sentence reports. Wails was remanded in custody. Judge David Hodson told Wails that all sentencing options would remain open.