South East Wales

Baby Amelia Jones's mother admits she "exaggerates", court hears

Sarah Jones at Newport Crown Court Image copyright Elizabeth Cook
Image caption An artist's impression of Sarah Jones being questioned in court

The mother of a baby girl allegedly murdered by her own grandfather has admitted she "exaggerates", a court has heard.

Mark Jones, 45, of Cwmbran, denies murdering Amelia Jones in Pontnewydd in November, 2012.

His daughter Sarah Jones was asked by the defence barrister, Roger Thomas QC, about a trip to the doctors with Amelia on 7 November 2012.

She admitted "exaggerating" about the doctor's diagnosis.

Mr Thomas asked her what the diagnosis was and Ms Jones told the court: "She had a cold".

The court was told that she had previously said, in a text message: "They want to check her, and they might keep her in overnight".

Mr Thomas suggested those two accounts differed from each other.

Sarah Jones replied "Don't you over-exaggerate with stuff sometimes". Mr Thomas asked, "So you do exaggerate?"

Ms Jones then replied: "Yes".

Ms Jones, 26, told Newport Crown Court on Tuesday she found Amelia in tears after leaving her in Mr Jones's care in a car during a shopping trip, days before her death.

'Didn't happen'

The defendant's barrister quizzed Ms Jones as to why she gave uncertain answers in a police interview about whether she actually went shopping on that day.

She said from the stand: "I had all my other children taken off me, I had been arrested for murder; I wasn't in the right frame of mind."

Ms Jones was later released and her children were returned to her, the court heard.

But Mr Thomas said the incident relating to Amelia being upset in Mr Jones's care "didn't happen at all like this".

Image copyright Gwent Police
Image caption Amelia died at the University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff

He said "Amelia was left alone in the house with Mark", and not in a car, as she had suggested.

The QC accused Ms Jones of "not being entirely fair and truthful" about her recollection, adding: "The incident you have described yesterday did not occur".

"It did occur", she replied.

Fatal injuries

Prosecuting counsel, Paul Lewis, asked Ms Jones if she had "ever laid a finger on Amelia, so as to harm her".

She replied: "No, not at all".

Ms Jones told the court she now has another child with Amelia's father, Ian Skillern, who was born in 2013.

The pair are no longer in a relationship.

During earlier evidence, Ms Jones claimed her father said Amelia had been "a nightmare" when he babysat the night before the baby received her fatal injuries.

Mr Jones insists he dropped Amelia accidentally on the two separate evenings while babysitting on his own.

The case continues.

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