Lutterworth woman denies manslaughter of baby niece

Chaunfang Zheng
Image caption Chaunfang Zheng denies shaking her niece to stop her crying while babysitting her in March 2015

A woman accused of the manslaughter of her niece has told a court she treated the seven-month-old "like her own child".

Chaunfang Zheng, 31, had been babysitting Phoebe Guo on 22 March 2015 when the baby suffered a "catastrophic and fatal brain injury".

Mother-of-three Mrs Zheng told a jury at Leicester Crown Court she tried to resuscitate her before getting help.

She denies violently shaking the baby to stop her crying.

'I was panicked'

The court heard Mrs Zheng had been looking after Phoebe for half an hour at her flat in Linden Drive, Lutterworth, Leicestershire, before the baby became unconscious.

Speaking through an interpreter, Mrs Zheng said she tried to call her sister-in-law twice before taking the girl to the family takeaway.

She said she could not remember how long it was before she made the calls and added: "'I don't know, I can't remember. I was panicked."

Image caption Chaunfang Zheng said she took her niece to the family takeaway in Lutterworth where the girl's parents worked

During cross examination, Mrs Zheng told the jury: "As you know jurors, I am a mother of three kids and have always treated Phoebe like my own child."

She claimed she had seen the girl's mother turn her upside down that evening, but experts told the court the girl's "serious and significant injuries" could only have been caused by shaking.

Prosecutor Adrian Langdale asked her: "You are simply not telling the truth are you?

"You had four young children all in a very small flat. Phoebe was refusing to eat and crying. You were feeling under stress weren't you?"

Mrs Zheng replied: "I didn't feel stressed."

She said she tried to resuscitate the girl and added: "I tried to save her."

The trial continues.

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