Glasgow & West Scotland

Grandmother gives evidence in baby death trial

A woman has denied pressurising her daughter to "come up with an explanation" for the death of her baby grandson.

Angela Bryce was giving evidence at the trial of Jack Butterworth, 18, who is charged with the culpable homicide of his baby son Lucas in November 2016.

He denies assaulting his pregnant partner Katie Strawhorn in Kilmarnock, causing placental abruption.

Jurors were told that Ms Strawhorn had initially denied any assaults.

The High Court In Glasgow heard the 20-year-old later told detectives that Mr Butterworth had attacked her.

Prosecutors claim he assaulted her and that she suffered a placental abruption, a condition in which the placenta separates from the uterus.

This resulted in the baby being born by emergency caesarean section.

The child was said to have been so severely injured that he died five days later in hospital.

'Own conscience'

Ms Bryce, 46, claimed her daughter had spoken of being punched "full force in the stomach" by Mr Butterworth.

The care home assistant manager told the court she did not push her daughter to go the police and instead "left it to her own conscience".

QC Gary Allan asked Ms Bryce: "Any truth that you had pressured Katie to come up with an explanation?" She replied: "No."

Mr Allan said: "Under any pressure from the police to try and get Katie to give an explanation better than she had given?"

Ms Bryce said: "No. She had support from all sorts of sources. It was very difficult, but there was no pressure."

Mr Butterworth is accused of assaulting Ms Strawhorn at a number of addresses in Kilmarnock on 3 November 2016.

The indictment includes claims that Mr Butterworth did "kick her on the stomach" as well as chase and cause her to "flee and fall".

It is also alleged he did "repeatedly inflict blunt force trauma on her head and body".

Ms Strawhorn was 36 weeks pregnant at the time.

Mr Butterworth faces a separate charge of assaulting Ms Strawhorn between January and November 2016.

This includes a claim that he threw fire crackers at her as well as punching and kicking her.

A further charge claims he behaved in a threatening manner towards the baby's mother and another woman.

He denies the charges and the trial, before Judge Lord Ericht, continues.

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