10-week-old Lily-Mai Hurrell Saint George had been released into the care of her parents just six days earlier despite opposition from hospital staff who suspected abuse, a jury was told
A 10-week-old girl was murdered by her parents just hours after a visit from the family’s social worker, a court has heard.
Lily-Mai Hurrell Saint George suffered 18 broken ribs, a broken leg and a fatal head injury allegedly caused by violent shaking of the hands of Lauren Saint George and Darren Hurrell, both 25.
She had been released into the care of her parents just six days earlier despite opposition from hospital staff, a jury said on Thursday.
Wood Green Crown Court heard police were called to a domestic incident at the family’s home in Duckett’s Green, north London, the day before the baby arrived.
Haringey social worker Theresa Ferguson told the Lily-Mai couple they had to go to a housing unit for about four or five hours before Saint George called 911 on the night of Jan. 31, 2018, the jury heard.
Lily-Mai was taken to North Middlesex Hospital after suffering injuries on suspicion of physical abuse.
The infant died two days later, on February 2, after being transferred to Great Ormond Street Hospital, prosecutor Sally O’Neill QC said.
Saint George, from Enfield, north London, and Hurrell, from Alvaston, Derby, are on trial where both deny murder, manslaughter, causing or allowing death and child cruelty.
Prosecutors Ms O’Neill said: “It is the Crown’s case that these two defendants, Lily-Mai’s parents, were responsible for their deaths and that these fatal injuries sustained Lily-May from violent shaking just before that 999 call was just six days after she was released into her care.”
The court heard the couple stayed in a small flat while their baby was still at Barnet Hospital after being born prematurely at 31 weeks.
Ms Ferguson, a social worker at Haringey Child and Family Services, was assigned the case after concerns were raised about the parents’ ability to care for Lily-Mai.
A decision was made to release the baby after a meeting Saint George, who was aware of mental health issues, stormed out of because of “anger issues,” Ms O’Neill said.
She added: “Almost all professionals at the hospital were opposed to the baby being released into parental care and had on many occasions expressed concern about the parents’ ability to meet the emotional, developmental and physical needs of the baby to meet the social services.
“Nevertheless, the decision was made to release the baby into the care of her parents and the hospital had to accept that and deal with the situation as best they could.”
Police were called to Hurrell and Saint George’s home on January 24, the day before Lily-Mai was fired, about a domestic incident, but no crime was revealed.
That same day, Ms Ferguson requested a “legal gateway meeting” – one of the avenues available to social services to intervene in the care of a baby – but went on annual leave the following day.
Ms O’Neill said: “To describe this timing as unfortunate is perhaps an understatement of the problem.”
A social worker on duty visited the family on January 26, while Ms Ferguson made a home visit when she returned to work on January 30, followed by health visitor Alberta Nyantaki the same day.
Although Ms Nyantaki concluded that Lily-Mai’s needs were “satisfactorily met”, she expressed “serious concerns” to Ms Ferguson, who informed her that the threshold for a child care protection plan had been reached due to the couple’s volatility, heard the court.
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That legal process, in the form of a Legal Gateway Meeting, began the following day, and Ms Ferguson visited the home around 3 p.m. to explain options for housing in a dorm for the family or for Hurrell and the baby without moving in Saint George.
“Lauren Saint George responded by getting angry and saying she wouldn’t go into a unit and Theresa Ferguson could take the baby,” said Ms. O’Neill, who explained that Hurrell had agreed to go into the unit.
“Theresa Ferguson obviously left confident in Darren Hurrell’s ability to protect Lily-Mai at the house and accepted his assurances that he would go to the condo unit the next day.
“Lily-Mai’s breakdown happened later that day. The 999 call was made at 9:08 p.m. later that day, about four or five hours after Theresa Ferguson left the family.”
The five-week process continues.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/newborn-baby-murdered-parents-5-27237087 Newborn baby 'murdered by parents 5 hours after being told he can't live at home'