Portsmouth baby murder: Mother guilty of killing 19-day-old son

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Nicola BrownImage source, Hampshire Constabulary
Image caption,
Nicola Brown sobbed and shouted from the dock as the verdicts were delivered

A mother has been found guilty of murdering her 19-day-old baby, who died after suffering a brain injury and a fractured skull.

Nicola Brown, 43, from Portsmouth, was also found guilty of two counts of causing grievous bodily harm with intent to her son, Jake.

His father, Jason Brown, 44, was found not guilty of causing or allowing the death of a child.

Winchester Crown Court was told Jake had previously suffered 17 broken ribs.

As the verdicts were delivered, Nicola Brown shouted: "I didn't do it. I didn't do it."

Image source, Hampshire Constabulary
Image caption,
Jake Brown suffered 17 broken ribs and severe head injuries during his 19-day life

Jurors heard how Jake died on 19 December 2014 due to "an impact to the head requiring substantial force".

The court was played a 999 call made by Brown, in which she said he had stopped breathing while she was feeding him.

She told the operator he had fallen out of his Moses basket the day before.

'Unusual' birth

The broken ribs had been caused by an adult squeezing him, the court was told.

Image caption,
Jake Brown was born in "unusual circumstances" at a house in Agincourt Road, Portsmouth

Brown had not informed her doctor she was expecting Jake and social services were alerted to the "concealed pregnancy".

Nigel Lickley QC, prosecuting, said Jake had been born in "unusual circumstances" at the couple's former home in Agincourt Road.

He said: "He arrived into this world by falling into and being caught by the pyjamas or tracksuit bottoms of Nicola Brown."

He said Brown, later of Seymour Road, had a "short fuse" and her attack on Jake was motivated by "anger".

Det Supt Scott MacKechnie said: "The treatment of newborn 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."

Portsmouth Safeguarding Children's Board confirmed a serious case review would be held into Jake's death.

Sentencing was adjourned to a date to be fixed.

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