NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

'Murdered' baby Alexis was mother's 'pride and joy'

Illona Sheach
Image caption Illona Sheach said Alexis had been her "pride and joy"

The mother of a six-week-old baby who was allegedly murdered has told a court she did not want to believe anyone could hurt a little girl.

Illona Sheach, 21, said her baby daughter Alexis Matheson had been her "pride and joy" whom she loved.

Mark Simpson denies murdering Alexis in Aberdeen in 2007.

Ms Sheach told the seventh day of the trial at the High Court in Aberdeen she hoped what had happened was an underlying medical condition.

She said although her then-boyfriend Mr Simpson was not the baby's father he was going to take her as his own.

Ms Sheach said they moved in with the accused after the birth, and she realised Mr Simpson was depressed.

She wept as she told the court how her baby became "lifeless" on the night she was allegedly murdered.

She said Mr Simpson began to give her baby CPR on the floor.

The baby's mother said she had never seen anyone harm her daughter.

She also claimed a doctor earlier told her not to be too concerned when she raised concerns about the baby girl having bloodshot eyes.

'Get better'

The doctor, said Ms Sheach, did not examine the baby and said she would get better, and baby Alexis died in hospital the following weekend.

Ms Sheach told the court she was proud to have her and that every child born is special and a gift.

Image caption Baby Alexis Matheson was six weeks old when she died in 2007

She was asked if she was still in a relationship with Mr Simpson, and she said she was not.

She said marriage was discussed at one point but that was not going to happen.

Mr Simpson, 29, is accused of murdering Alexis by assaulting her in Aberdeen between 8 November and 9 December 2007.

He allegedly seized hold of her, shook her and compressed her chest, leaving her so severely injured that she died.

The trial, which is scheduled to last several weeks, continues.

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