Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Liam Fee murder trial: Accused denies deleting phone calls the night toddler died

Rachel and Nyomi Fee deny murdering Liam
Image caption Rachel and Nyomi Fee deny murdering Liam

One of two women accused of murdering Liam Fee has denied intentionally deleting three phone calls to her mother on the night the toddler died.

Nyomi Fee, who insisted she could have done nothing to prevent Liam's death, said her phone was damaged with the screen held together by sticky tape.

Nyomi Fee and Rachel Fee deny killing the two-year-old at a house near Glenrothes in Fife on 22 March 2014.

They also face charges they neglected Liam and abused two other children.

The pair blame one of the other children 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.

Hospital treatment

Giving evidence for a third day, Nyomi Fee was questioned Fee on why she had deleted calls made to her mother on the evening Liam died before handing her phone over to police.

Prosecutor Alex Prentice QC said: "The only ones you deleted were the calls to and from your mother.

"The critical calls (at) 19:36, 19:42, 19:44 to 'mam' they were deleted, you accept that."

Ms Fee said she had not done so on purpose, said her phone was "completely cracked" and held together with tape, and insisted she had informed police about what had happened.

The prosecutor went on: "It's just a bit odd that within that cluster these are the only three which are deleted. It looks odd." Ms Fee dismissed the suggestion.

Asked what she had "really" discussed with her mother, she said they had been talking about a forthcoming holiday.

Image caption Liam Fee was found dead at a house near Glenrothes in Fife on 22 March 2014

Meanwhile, the best friend of Nyomi Fee said she had no problem with Ms Fee looking after her own son, before and after the toddler's death.

Lindsey Snaith wept in the witness box as she described a phone call from Nyomi Fee telling her that Liam was dead.

She said Nyomi Fee had told her "one of the boys had harmed him and it had went too far".

The court had earlier heard how Nyomi Fee, 28, denied losing her temper and killing Liam - as she faced claims in court her attitude towards the two-year-old was "wicked and atrocious".

She told the court she had never harmed the child on any occasion, but did accept Liam would be here today if she had taken him to hospital for treatment to a leg injury sustained days before his death.

Nyomi Fee admitted that her failure to seek the required medical help amounted to neglect and ill-treatment, telling jurors: "I hate myself for that."

'Safe environment'

She rejected suggestions she failed to seek help because she was responsible for causing the injury, but admitted she did nothing despite thinking the child could die.

Prosecutor Alex Prentice said: "You looked after Liam, you cared for Liam, he couldn't care for himself.

"He looked to you as a parent to care for him, to look out for him, to create a safe environment for him, and you thought he might die and you did nothing?"

"Yes," Nyomi Fee replied.

"That sums this case up, doesn't it? You didn't care whether he lived or died?" said Mr Prentice.

"Yes I did," she said.

'Knew it was wrong'

The prosecutor said later: "You knew that there was a risk he might die and you allowed that set of circumstances to continue because Rachel might leave you, is that right?" Nyomi Fee agreed.

"That is a wicked and atrocious attitude to have towards a young boy," said Mr Prentice.

"I knew it was wrong, yes," she said.

"It's more than just wrong, do you not agree?" said Mr Prentice.

"Yes," the accused replied.

"Because if you had taken him to hospital he would be here today, wouldn't he?" the lawyer said.

"Yes he would," she said.

The trial continues.

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