A teenage mother accused of murdering her newborn son told police she “cuddled him goodbye, kissed him on the forehead” then “gently placed him in (a bin bag)”, jurors heard.
Paris Mayo, who is now 19 but was 15 at the time of the incident, has gone on trial accused of inflicting complex skull fractures on little Stanley Mayo at her parents’ home in Springfield Avenue, Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire, on March 23 2019.
The Crown has alleged that after inflicting the fractures, possibly caused by Mayo’s foot on his head, she then stuffed five pieces of cotton wool into his mouth – two of which were found deep in the throat.
Her baby is thought to have lived just a little over two hours, Worcester Crown Court was previously told, although Mayo claimed in police interviews played to jurors on Thursday that the boy never showed signs of life.
In what was the first time jurors have heard an account from Mayo as to what happened on the night of the birth, her interviews with police at Hereford police station were re-read in court.
When asked by police how two of the cotton wool balls could have got into the baby’s throat, she claimed to be “panicking because he had all this blood coming out of his mouth”, and started “cleaning it up”.
Mayo said: “My whole finger never went into his mouth.
“I could have been a bit rough or something, they could have gone down (his throat) like that.”
Later, asked why she did not ask her mother, who was upstairs asleep, for help, Mayo replied: “I didn’t want her to be ashamed of me.”
Mayo’s responses to officers’ interview questions, given on April 3, 2019, were read by prosecution barrister Chloe Ashley.
She told police how she was likely “in denial” about her pregnancy – having been studying childcare, including the different stages of pregnancy at school at the time.
After suffering painful cramps throughout the preceding 48 hours, it was sometime around 9.30pm, after her parents had gone to bed, that she delivered her son alone, in a downstairs sitting room.
“When I was stood, I got sharp pain, I put my head on my arms and heard something make a noise – you could hear something hit the floor,” she said.
“I looked down and I saw him (baby Stanley) and I just thought ‘oh God’.
She placed the baby on a rug, and went to the kitchen, fetching water and a towel to clean up, but then saw Stanley “had blood coming out of his mouth and I was like ‘oh no’.”
Mayo said her father had left clean cotton wool balls in the room, as he was treating an ear infection, and said she reached to pick some up to “absorb” the blood in her newborn’s mouth.
“I knew I couldn’t help him, knew he wasn’t going to come alive, so I just wiped all this blood up and left it (the cotton wool) in there (his mouth)… so it would absorb all the blood.”
She added: “I was just that exhausted and tired, that’s when I got back up, went to the kitchen and that’s when I got the bag to put him in.
Mayo said: “I didn’t pick him up and just chuck him in there, because that’s horrible.
“I opened it up and put it on the floor, so he wouldn’t fall in or hurt himself, I picked him up and I cuddled him goodbye.
“He still wasn’t doing anything.
“I kissed him on his forehead, gently placed him in there, (and) put the placenta in next to him.
“I tied it (the bag). I picked it up from the bottom where he was, walked by the front door and put the bag there.
“I knew my mum was going to see it there, I left it there to find – on purpose.”
Afterwards, she went upstairs to bed and “went straight to sleep”.
Asked if she was responsible for the death of baby Stanley, she replied: “No.”
Jurors heard previously that the next morning, at 8.23am, Mayo’s allegedly sent a text message to her brother, George, which read: “When you go outside, can you put the black bag in the bin, as it’s just full of sick from last night, pls?”
Mr Mayo previously gave evidence that he picked up what turned out to be a blood-stained black plastic bin liner, finding it “unusually heavy”, watched by Mayo’s unsuspecting mother.
Seeing how heavy it was, it was then his mother was prompted to look inside and – finding the dead youngster – immediately dialled 999.
Mayo, of Ruardean, Gloucestershire, denies wrongdoing and the trial, expected to last six weeks, continues.