Mother and father accused of murdering ten-week-old daughter ‘tried to blame hospital for her death’

Lauren Saint George and Darren Hurrell allegedly shook their daughter Lily-Mai to death

<p>Lauren Saint George arrives at Wood Green Crown Court, in London</p>

Lauren Saint George arrives at Wood Green Crown Court, in London

Parents accused of murdering their ten-week-old daughter tried to blame the hospital for her death, a court heard.

Lily-Mai Saint George died from a serious head injury and had also suffered 18 rib fractures, two fractures in her leg and severe bruising.

Lauren Saint George and Darren Hurrell, both 25, allegedly shook their daughter to death eight days after she was released into their care against the advice of hospital staff.

The parents both deny murder, manslaughter, causing or allowing the death of a child and cruelty to a person under 16 years old.

Lily-Mai was born prematurely in November 2017 and spent the first two months of her life in Barnet Hospital, before she was discharged into her parents’ care on 25 January 2018.

Saint George and Hurrell had been homeless for several years and staff had tried to stop them taking Lily-Mai home, believing they were incapable of looking after her, jurors heard on Thursday.

Darren Hurrell and his partner deny the charges against them

The baby died at Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital on 2 February 2018, after being found unresponsive by her parents at their home in Belmont Road, Haringey, two days earlier.

Anthony Monbelly was Hurrell’s support worker when he was living in a housing association and gave an account of a conversation he had with him in February 2018 about Lily-Mai’s collapse.

“He said that he had been sleeping and Lauren had woken him and said that she didn’t know how to do the baby.

“He said that he told her what to do and he got out of bed and it was then that he noticed that the baby was not well.”

The support worker added that Hurrell was a heavy sleeper and because of this he had asked him if it was possible that Saint George could have done something to Lily-Mai.

“Hurt the child in some way,” he said. “Darren replied, “No, she would have told me.”

“I got the impression that they were blaming the hospital for what happened...”

The case is being heard at Wood Green Crown Court

In 2017/18, Mr Monbelly worked for Riverside Housing Association (RHA) which assisted single homeless people. As a support worker, he would help young homeless people to move on successfully.

Asked about the father-to-be’s attitude towards the pregnancy, he said: “Darren was just very very happy. Excited and looking forward to it.”

After Lily-Mai was born, Mr Monbelly noticed that Hurrell became the main carer, jurors heard.

“Darren had complained to me that Lauren was not motivated to go to the hospital to see the baby,’ he said.

On 29 January, the parents brought Lily-Mai to visit Mr Monbelly at his offices.

“Darren was happy, a very proud dad,” Mr Monbelly continued. “He was beaming. Darren fed her, burped her, changed her, he seemed to be the primary carer. Darren was the doting parent.”

Questioned on Saint George’s maternal behaviour, the support worker added: “Lauren was holding the baby at times. She had little or no intervention with the baby.”

The trial continues.

Additional reporting by Central News

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