Foster mom admits ‘life shattering’ baby she wanted to adopt

Laura Castle, 38, admitted to “shattering the life” of year-old tot Leiland-James Corkill, though she was hoping to adopt him but denied murder

Leiland James Corkill
Leiland James Corkill

A foster mom-to-be has admitted she gave the one-year-old she was about to adopt “life shakes”.

Laura Castle admitted she “lost her mind” when baby Leiland-James Corkill cried after giving him breakfast at the family home in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, in January last year.

The 38-year-old denied murder but admitted manslaughter and previously told officers Leiland-James sustained the “catastrophic” head injuries in a fall from the sofa.

Castle and her husband Scott, 35, had been caring for baby Leiland-James for five months with the intention of adopting the tot permanently.

She told police the baby sustained the injuries from falling off the sofa, but experts said the injuries did not match her story.

The court had previously heard that Leiland was just eight months old when he was placed with the Castles in August 2020 when they were looking to adopt him.

On the witness stand at Preston Crown Court yesterday, she broke down in tears giving her testimony when questioned by her solicitor, David McLachlan QC.

Castle told the judges: “He cried and I shook my beautiful little boy. I just wanted him to stop crying.”

Mr McLachlan asked, “How many times have you shaken him?” to which she replied, “I don’t know.”

Mr McLachlan asked, “How much force did you use to shake him?”

Preston Crown Court, where the two abusive parents stand trial


Lancs Live/MEN Media)

Castle said: “I don’t know, but I would say a lot. His head was leaning against the back of the sofa. He banged his head on the back of the sofa. He fell off my knee to the floor.

“I picked him up. I just couldn’t stop crying. I don’t know who this person is. I realized what had happened and thought he was out of breath.

“I picked him up and his hands were stiff and he was gasping for air. Then he went limp and I thought he was out of breath.

“I put a bottle in his mouth to comfort him. I tried to comfort him.”

She accepted she killed her “little boy” but said she had “no reason” and claimed it was never her intention.

As she shook the young tot to death, she claimed she thought, “Please stop crying, please stop crying. I just wanted it to stop.

“He screamed. He hadn’t done anything, he was just an innocent little boy and my actions.

“It’s on me. Not Scott, not Penny (her social worker). I.

“I told Scott he fell off the sofa. I couldn’t tell him what I had done. I couldn’t stand what I had done.

“I have no excuse. I just panicked. I was afraid of the consequences of my actions and ashamed.”

The court was told her husband knew about his partner’s abuse of the one-year-old from the text message and sided with her in text messages when she said she had “leathered” the baby.

The court previously heard her text her partner on Sept. 23, 2020, saying, “Honestly I really don’t like him lately, he’s an absolute moaning winge-bag and I totally regret doing that.” to have.”

The court was told there were a number of messages in which she used aggressive and awkward language about the baby.

The jury was previously told that Mr Castle “actively encouraged” his wife’s behaviour.

In the news, the court heard Ms Castle say: “I’m going to lose my mind. He pisses me off all the time, can never just have a nice day or night.

“Although I have to stop beating him because if I start I’m not going to stop at one point and it doesn’t get us anywhere and then I feel bad.”

The court heard she texted the next day: “I just absolutely leathered him, I can’t take this anymore, he has to go.”

Scott replied, “Right, OK, baby. He really ruined it. At least we tried,” the court heard.

She had also lied in her original version of events, omitting the truth that she was responsible for the baby’s death.

She said: “I found it difficult to admit that my child had died because of my actions. I can’t take it back or change it. It was because of me.”

She will be cross-examined by Prosecutor Michael Brady, QC when the trial resumes tomorrow morning. Foster mom admits 'life shattering' baby she wanted to adopt

Fry Electronics Team

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