Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Liam Fee murder trial: Accused 'knew toddler was dead'

Liam fee
Image caption The two women deny murdering Liam Fee

A jury in the Liam Fee murder trial has heard an account from one of the two women accused about the night the toddler died.

In a police statement read to the jury, Nyomi Fee said she went to check on Liam and knew he was dead because he was so white.

Nyomi Fee and her partner Rachel Fee deny murdering Liam on 22 March 2014 and blame his death on another child.

Liam Fee was found dead in a house near Glenrothes, Fife.

The pair are also charged with a catalogue of allegations that they neglected Liam and abused two other children, one of whom they blame for killing Liam, while in their care over a two-year period.

The women, who are both originally from Ryton, Tyne and Wear, deny all the charges against them.

'In his buggy'

Nyomi Fee also told police she had been playing "High Fives" with him on the day he died, the court heard.

The 29-year-old told Constable Dorothy Millar that the two-year-old "liked to high five" - lifting up his arm and smacking palms with her.

In an interview statement she gave a few days after Liam was found dead in the Fife flat Nyomi Fee shared with Liam's mum Rachel, she added: "He would mimic with his hands and he would copy me."

However, a jury previously heard medical evidence that the tragic toddler had a broken arm and a broken thigh which would have caused him pain if he moved.

In Nyomi Fee's statement, which she signed on every page after it was read back to her, she said she had played with Liam in the afternoon while Rachel Fee was out looking after her horse.

Rachel Fee returned home at about 18:15 and they poured themselves glasses of vodka and fizzy orange and put on some music.

She said: "Liam was nodding off in his buggy so we decided to put him in his room. I think it was around 6.30pm - Rachel hadn't been back that long.

"Rachel and I went to the living room and put on a Clubland CD to listen to some music.

"It wasn't loud enough to annoy the neighbours but we couldn't hear the kids playing in their room as the door was closed."

Nyomi said she shut Liam in his bedroom asleep in his buggy with the door shut.

When she went back to check on him at what "must have been" 7.40pm, she found the buggy had been moved forward to a new position.

Liam was lying lifeless in it with his face partly covered with a blanket.

"He was so white," she told police, "so I pulled the blanket off him.

"I picked up his hands and they were floppy. I just knew he was dead because he was so white.

"I screamed for Rachel: 'Rachel, Rachel!' and she came straight through. She started screaming: 'Call an ambulance'. I dialled 999 then I got Liam."

Concerns over injury

Earlier the jury heard evidence from wound nurse Pauline Emslie, 47, that the Fees brought a seven year-old boy they blame for Liam's death to her for examination.

She said she found a pressure ulcer on his toe and skin grafts "very badly infected" with redness spreading up the foot.

She said: "Rachel was very surprised and asked how this could have happened. I explained to her that infections do sometimes happen in children.

"I did ask when she thought the infection had started. She said it must have just happened.

"I think it would have been very difficult not to notice that the feet were like that. They'd have been very painful and it looked like the infection was well established."

She went on: "I contacted the health visitor and also the child protection adviser at the Sick Children's Hospital.

"I had concerns because after the initial injury there seemed to be a delay in seeking medical advice because the wounds were very deep, and this time it was an infection that had not been noticed."

The trial at the High Court in Livingston continues.

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