Glasgow & West Scotland

Kimberley Hainey murder trial: boy not seen for months

A neighbour has told a murder trial she stopped seeing and hearing a toddler about eight months before he was found dead in his Renfrewshire home.

Catherine Rowand, 34, was giving evidence at the trial of Kimberley Hainey at the High Court in Glasgow.

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

His body was found on 30 March 2010, shortly before his second birthday.

Ms Rowand, who lived in the flat below Ms Hainey, said she last saw Declan in his pram in July 2009, when he was 15 months old.

She told advocate depute Andrew Stewart QC: "I can honestly say that from July 2009, when I last saw Declan in the garden, not only did I never see him again, but I never heard him crying again."

Borrowed money

The jury was told that she continued to see Ms Hainey, who occasionally asked her for a lift.

Ms Hainey had told her that Declan was staying with her mother or aunt, the court heard.

Previously, the court was told that none of Ms Hainey's relatives had seen him since his first birthday party on 17 April 2009.

Mrs Rowand was asked if she had given money to Ms Hainey and she told the court: "Sometimes she would come down on a Friday when my husband got paid and ask to borrow £20 for electricity or gas or stuff for Declan.

"This happened about two or three times a month."

Mrs Rowand told the jury that around September 2009 Ms Hainey claimed to have moved back to her mother's house because she did not like the area.

She said that one of the last times she saw her was in January 2010 when Ms Hainey came to her door at 22:10 in tears.

When asked by defence QC Edward Targowski whether Ms Hainey was depressed, Mrs Rowand replied: "I couldn't tell. She said her uncle had died."

'Lively, happy baby'

The court was shown medical records for Declan showing that his mother had taken him to the doctor in December 2008, and March and May 2009.

The doctor treated him for nappy rash and eczema and described Declan as a "lively, happy baby".

Mr Targowski asked Mrs Rowand: "You couldn't look back and say that woman was so mistreating her son, 'I should have gone to somebody and stopped it'?"

Mrs Rowand replied: "Not at all."

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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