Mother 'stabbed newborn baby to death' while father played Xbox

Wellington Court Image copyright Google
Image caption Police officers were called to the couple's home in Wellington Court, Burnley in January

A mother stabbed her newborn baby with a pair of scissors while the father played a zombie computer game, a court heard.

Rachel Tunstill, 26, allegedly stabbed Mia Kelly 15 times after giving birth in the bathroom then dumping her body in a bin.

Ryan Kelly, 31, admitted playing the Xbox game 'The Walking Dead' at the time while at their home in Burnley, Lancashire.

Ms Tunstill denies murder.

Giving evidence at Preston Crown Court, Mr Kelly admitted he was "engrossed" in the zombie computer game while Ms Tunstill spent up to three hours alone in the bathroom on 14 January.

The forklift truck driver told the jury he assumed Ms Tunstill was dealing with the effects of a miscarriage that she told him she had suffered a month before.

But the court heard that her pregnancy was coming to full term at 37 weeks pregnant, and baby Mia was delivered that night at their home in Wellington Court.

Mr Kelly admitted passing Ms Tunstill a pair of scissors through the bathroom door.


But the only noise Mr Kelly said he heard coming from the bathroom was a sound "like squeezing water out of a plastic bottle".

He told the court that he assumed she was having another miscarriage.

Mr Kelly said: "She kept telling me she was fine so I took her at her word.

"I thought she had dealt with a miscarriage before so she was equipped to deal with another one."

Ms Tunstill, who has a masters degree in forensic psychology, had experienced a miscarriage at their flat in Wellington Court in March last year, which was said to have caused her a lot of pain.

She is accused of murdering baby Mia and putting her body in plastic bags and then the kitchen bin.

Her defence barrister has admitted the baby died as result of a number of stab wounds but that Ms Tunstill had no recollection of how that happened.

The trial continues.

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