England

County Durham mother in court over death of son, two

Christy Ruddell
Image caption A post-mortem examination found the two-year-old had been strangled

A woman accused of murdering her two-year-old son has been remanded to a secure psychiatric hospital.

Melanie Ruddell, 39, of Castle Eden, County Durham, arrived at Peterlee police station on 9 August carrying the lifeless body of her child, Christy.

A post-mortem examination found he had been strangled.

Ms Ruddell was remanded by a judge sitting at Newcastle Crown Court after she had made a brief appearance before magistrates at Peterlee.

Judge Michael Cartlidge said: "I have ordered that she be remanded to a secure psychiatric hospital to be treated by a consultant psychiatrist and that will remain the position for some months to come."

Mrs Ruddell, of Dean View, is accused of killing her son at the home of her brother in West Rainton, County Durham.

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