Portsmouth baby murder: Mother given life sentence

image copyrightHampshire Constabulary
image captionNicola Brown was ordered to serve a minimum of 14 and a half years.

A mother has been given a life sentence for murdering her 19-day-old baby, who died after suffering a brain injury and a fractured skull.

Nicola Brown, 43, from Portsmouth, was found guilty of the murder of her son, Jake, following a trial in December.

The trial heard how Jake died on 19 December 2014 due to "an impact to the head requiring substantial force".

Brown was ordered to serve a minimum of 14-and-a-half years.

image copyrightHampshire Constabulary
image captionJake Brown suffered 17 broken ribs and severe head injuries during his 19-day life

Passing sentence, Mr Justice Dingemans said he accepted Brown was suffering from a mental disorder.

He also sentenced her to concurrent sentences of seven-and-a-half years, for two counts of wounding with intent.

The judge said Brown had been prepared to blame others for Jake's death, including health care professionals, and had refused to accept responsibility.

During the trial Winchester Crown Court was also told Jake had previously suffered 17 broken ribs.

Brown had not informed her doctor she was expecting Jake and social services were alerted to the "concealed pregnancy".

Fallen from basket

The court was played a 999 call made by Brown, in which she said he had stopped breathing while she was feeding him.

She told the operator he had fallen out of his Moses basket the day before.

An NSPCC spokeswoman said Jake had been "robbed of every chance of living a fulfilling and happy life".

"This is a deeply shocking case in which a defenceless newborn has been killed by his own mother - a woman who should have been nurturing and protecting him," she added.

A serious case review is now under way - as the family were known to social services and the NHS before the baby's death.

image captionJake Brown was born in "unusual circumstances" at a house in Agincourt Road, Portsmouth

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