A foster mother admitted ‘shaking the life’ out of a one-year-old baby she wanted to adopt.
Baby Leiland James was only 8 months old when he was placed at Laura Castle’s home in August 2020.
Castle and her husband Scott, 3, had been taking care of the baby for five months and were planning to adopt him.
She admitted that she ‘lost her mind’ when the baby cried after she gave him breakfast.
She broke down in tears in the witness box at Preston Crown Court while being questioned by barrister David McLachlan QC.
“He was crying and I shook my beautiful baby boy. I just wanted him to stop crying,” Castle told the jury.
When asked; “How many times did you shake him?” she responded: “I don’t know.”
“How much force did you use to shake him?” Mr. McLachlan asked.
“I don’t know but I would say a lot. His head was against the arm of the sofa. He hit his head on the back of the arm of the sofa. He fell off my knee onto the floor,” Castle said.
“I picked him up. I just could not stop the crying. I don’t know who that person is.
“I realized what had happened and I thought he was winded. I picked him up and his hands were, like, stiff and he was, like, gasping. Then he went floppy and I thought he was winded.
“I put a bottle in his mouth as a comfort. I was trying to comfort him.”
Castle accepted that she killed her ‘little boy’ and claimed it was never her intention.
She said that while shaking Leiland James to death, she was thinking: “Please stop crying, please stop crying. I just wanted it to stop.
“He was screaming. He had done nothing, he was just an innocent little boy and my actions.
“That is on me. Not Scott, not Penny (her social worker). Me.
“I told Scott he had fallen off the sofa. I could not tell him what I had done. I could not face what I had done. I do not have an excuse. I just panicked. I was terrified of the consequences of my actions and ashamed.”
But the court previously heard how on September 23, 2020, Castle texted her partner writing: “I honestly really don’t like him lately, hes an absolute moaning winge bag and I totally regret doin this.”
The court also heard how there were many messages in which the foster mom used unpleasant and aggressive terms about the child.
In one of her messages, Castle said: “I’m goin to lose my mind. He just pisses me off all the time, can never just have a nice day or night ever. Although I need to stop smacking him cos if I start I’ll not stop at one point and it’s not getting us anywhere and then I feel bad.”
The next day, she wrote: “I’ve just absolutely leathered him, I can(‘t) take this anymore, he’s gonna have to go,” to which Scott replied: “Right OK baby. He’s really ruined it. At least we have tried.”
Castle will now face cross-examination by prosecutor Michael Brady, QC.
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