Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Liam Fee murder: Trial hears strangle claim in 999 call

Liam Fee Image copyright Police Scotland
Image caption Two-year-old Liam Fee died in March 2014

A trial has heard that a woman accused of murdering a two-year-old boy in Fife along with her civil partner, claimed the child was strangled by another boy.

Nyomi Fee, 28, and Rachel Fee, 31, deny killing Rachel's son Liam in a house near Glenrothes on 22 March 2014.

The couple also deny harming two other children.

During the second day of evidence at the High Court in Livingston the pair wept as a 999 call they made was played to the jury.

In the 999 call made shortly before 20:00 on March 22, a distressed Nyomi Fee can be heard sobbing and saying "oh god, oh god" and "please, please" as she attempts to perform CPR on Liam with the help of the operator.

In the recording, she said: "Can you please hurry up, my baby's not breathing.

"I think he's dead, he's not breathing, he's white."

'No signs of life'

She can then be heard telling the female operator that another young boy had "strangled" Liam.

She said: "He held his mouth closed, he said he held his mouth closed and his neck because he was crying, because he was trying to hurt him."

Image caption Paramedics, Alexander Higgins and James Graham attended at the couple's house within minutes of the 999 call being made

The jury also heard evidence from James Graham, 44, an ambulance technician who attended at the couple's house within minutes of the 999 call being made, alongside paramedic Alexander Higgins, 46.

Mr Graham told the jury: "The child was lying on the floor, he was facing us at that point. He was white. There were no signs of life, he appeared to be lifeless."

He said Fee had shouted at another young boy: "You tell these men what you've done."

Mr Graham said: "He just stood there with a look to say, I don't know what I've done but it must be bad."

Describing Liam, Mr Higgins told the jury: "When we first arrived he was very waxy looking, his skin was very pale and waxy."

Image caption Nyomi Fee's mother Janice Fee was taken through a statement she gave to police about a phone call she received from her daughter

Earlier, Nyomi Fee's mother Janice Fee, 57, a part-time carer from the north of England, was taken through a statement she gave to police about a phone call she received from her daughter that same day.

Advocate Depute Alex Prentice QC, reading the statement to the court, said: "She was screaming and very upset, saying Liam's dead, Liam's dead.

"I could also hear Rachel screaming. I was in shock and didn't know what was happening."

Rats and snakes claim

Ms Fee said her daughter told her another young boy had told police he had "done it", the court heard.

The statement read to the jury continued: "He had said how he did it. She said (the boy) held his nose and held his throat, that he had told the police twice."

The jury also heard evidence from Liam's grandmother, Gail Trelfa, 55.

She said she had been very close to her daughter Rachel and grandson Liam and had felt she had "lost" them after her daughter left his father to be with Nyomi Fee.

The murder charge alleges that the couple assaulted Liam at a house in Fife on various occasions between March 15 and March 22, 2014.

It is claimed the women repeatedly inflicted "blunt force trauma to his head and body" causing injuries so severe that he died on March 22 that year.

Between that date and April 30 2014, the two are said to have taken steps to avoid detection, arrest and prosecution, thereby attempting to defeat the ends of justice.

Another charge denied by the women alleges that they assaulted Liam on various occasions between January 2012 and March 2014.

They also deny a catalogue of allegations of wilfully ill-treating and neglecting Liam as well as two other young boys over a period of more than two years.

One of these boys is the person they are accused of falsely blaming Liam's death on.

The charges of ill-treatment against that boy include allegations that he was locked in a makeshift cage for long periods and had a cage filled with rats put on his head.

The allegations concerning the other young boy include that he was tied up in a room where rats and snakes were kept.

The women deny all the charges. The trial, before Lord Burns, continues.

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