Glasgow & West Scotland

Kimberley Hainey murder trial: boy not priority for dad

The father of a toddler found dead in his home has told a court that the child was not a priority for him.

David Gibson, 39, from Paisley, was giving evidence at the trial of Kimberley Hainey.

Ms Hainey, 37, of Johnstone, denies murdering her son, concealing his body and pretending that he was still alive to prevent police investigating.

The High Court in Glasgow heard 23-month-old Declan was found in Ms Hainey's flat on 30 March 2010.

Mr Gibson, a former staff nurse at the Southern General Hospital who was sacked for failing to disclose a conviction for breach of the peace, began a relationship with Hainey after they met in a psychiatric hospital.

He told the jury he was there after his marriage ended and he had a breakdown.

The last time Mr Gibson saw Ms Hainey was three and a half months before Declan was born, when he walked out during a visit to her parent's home in Renfrew, he said.

He told the court he had offered no financial help for the baby and had refused to attend a case conference about him.

Birthday card

Defence QC Edward Targowski, asked Mr Gibson: "Declan was not a high priority as far you were concerned, was he?" and he replied: "No."

The QC then said: "Miss Hainey wasn't a high priority either, was she?" and he replied: "No, she wasn't."

Ms Hainey sobbed in the dock.

Mr Gibson was then asked whether he had sent Declan a birthday card. He told the jury: "I didn't know his birthday."

Earlier, Ms Hainey's aunt, Ann McNeilage, told the court that Declan had been dead for a long time when she found him.

Mrs McNeilage, 71, went to the flat with her sister Elizabeth Rodden and brother-in-law John Rodden.

She was asked by advocate depute Andrew Stewart QC what state the flat was in and she replied: "It was as if the binmen had went in and emptied the bins. I couldn't speak."

She told the court she went to Declan's bedroom while her brother-in-law went into the living room and added: "When I found Declan he had been there a long time."

'All lies'

Mrs McNeilage told the court she had not seen Declan since his first birthday 11 months earlier, but Ms Hainey had told her stories about how he was doing at nursery.

She added: "She said he was making a bulb, she also said they were teaching him potty training."

Mrs McNeilage also described how Ms Hainey said she was going to complain about a nursery worker who she claimed had long nails and was scratching Declan.

She told the jury that when she saw Declan's body she realised the stories were untrue, and said: "All these stories she was telling us were lies, all lies."

Mr Targowski asked Mrs McNeilage what sort of mother Ms Hainey was and she replied: "She adored the baby and the baby adored her. There was a bond between them. There was no doubt about that."

Although she did not see Declan after his first birthday in April 2009, Mrs McNeilage said that she phoned her niece in October 2009 and said she heard Declan in the background.

When asked why neither she nor Ms Hainey's mother had visited Declan, she replied: "It wasn't encouraged. We did arrange to go a couple of times and Kim would cancel and say she was going out.

"We were led to believe he was at nursery. Kim was a private person.

"She told me she was happy and that Declan was the only man in her life. She was happy in her flat. I had no concerns about his safety."

Left unattended

Ms Hainey is accused of assaulting, wilfully ill-treating and neglecting her son Declan over a 19-month period between September 2008 and March 2010.

The Crown has charged her with either murdering her son, or alternatively, of neglecting him by failing to provide medical care for him whereby his physical and psychological development were impaired.

It is alleged that she left her son alone and unattended in the house for excessive periods of time, left him in wet and soiled nappies for excessive periods of time, caused him to be exposed to heroin and amphetamine, caused him to ingest these drugs and failed to provide medical aid and care for him.

The Crown also alleges that Ms Hainey pretended that Declan was alive in an attempt to defeat the ends of justice between July 2009 and March 2010.

Ms Hainey is also accused of possessing heroin and supplying the class A drug to a Renfrew man on various occasions between December 2009 and March 2010.

She denies all the charges against her.

The trial before judge Lord Woolman, which is expected to last about seven weeks, continues.

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