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A mother accused of shaking her six-week-old baby to death ‘took out her anger and resentment’ towards her partner on the infant after they had a row, a court heard.

Chelsea Cuthbertson, 28, denies murdering her child, Malakai Watts, despite doctors claiming his cardiac arrest was most likely caused by a ‘non-accidental injury’.

He was rushed from her flat in Hythe, Hampshire, to Southampton General Hospital but died four days later after he was taken off life support.

Malakai was ‘grey from head to toe’ when police arrived at the two bed flat on February 2, 2019, following a 999 call made by Cuthbertson, a jury was told.

Prosecutor Sally Howes QC told the jury at Winchester Crown Court that Cuthbertson shook and squeezed their baby as she ‘took out her resentment’ that 43-year-old boyfriend Dell Watts was not helping enough with their three children.

Mr Watts told the court the couple had an angry argument over text message moments before she called 999 to say Malakai had stopped breathing. 

Examinations revealed a head injury and a total of eight fractured ribs, at least one of which was an older injury. 

Chelsea Cuthbertson (pictured outside Winchester Crown Court today), 28, denies murdering her child, Malakai Watts, despite doctors claiming his cardiac arrest was most likely caused by a 'non-accidental injury'

Chelsea Cuthbertson (pictured outside Winchester Crown Court today), 28, denies murdering her child, Malakai Watts, despite doctors claiming his cardiac arrest was most likely caused by a ‘non-accidental injury’

Both Cuthbertson and Mr Watts were arrested at hospital for attempted murder on February 2 while Malakai was still alive.

That day she was interviewed by police and provided a prepared statement.

Ms Howes QC told the jury today: ‘In that statement she stated that the only physical force she had used towards Malakai that morning was during the CPR.

‘She had noticed that Malakai had turned blue when she picked him up for a change and a feed that morning and saw that he was not breathing and so immediately called 999.’

The court heard she denied hurting Malakai and said Mr Watts ‘wouldn’t hurt anyone, especially the baby’.

She admitted drinking a bottle of wine the night before and that the couple had had a ‘little tiff’ because Mr Watts, who works as a car valet for Hendy Ford, thought Malakai was not breathing normally.

Ms Howes added: ‘Chelsea Cuthbertson said she had overslept and woke at around 9am the following morning.

‘She told police she glanced over at the twins… she was sure he was a normal colour when she looked over. She then went outside her front door to smoke a cannabis joint before going back in her flat.

‘She noticed while [Malakai] was lying there that he was a grey-blue colour and he felt lifeless when she picked him up.’ 

Cuthbertson told police she was ‘worried’ she had not performed CPR properly, the court heard. She told police she had had a ‘big joint’ but ‘it had little effect on her as she was a regular user’.

After she was rearrested for murder in August 2019 she was asked about texts she had sent to her partner in the week leading up to Malakai’s cardiac arrest.

Ms Howes said: ‘She told him Malakai had a black eye from her accidentally dropping a milk bottle on him during her feed that night.

Dell Watts, 43, outside court today. He told the jury they had been living at Cuthbertson's flat for 'about a week' after Malakai and his twin sister were brought home from hospital

Dell Watts, 43, outside court today. He told the jury they had been living at Cuthbertson’s flat for ‘about a week’ after Malakai and his twin sister were brought home from hospital

‘She warned Mr Watts that [her older daughter] might have a bruise on her cheek after she had dropped her following [the child] covering herself in Chelsea Cuthbertson’s makeup.

‘She called her [daughter] a little cow and a little shit. She told him that she was losing her shit doing everything again and said to him ‘when you are here you should be f***ing helping’.’

Cuthbertson told police this was ‘just venting’ but Ms Howes said it was a ‘window into the mind’.

She added: ‘These texts indicated an escalating resentment towards Dell Watts.

‘Her resentment and anger reached such a point that morning that she took it out on Malakai, squeezing him around the chest, shaking him and then causing an impact to his head.

‘Her intention at that time must have been to cause him harm even if the catalyst was to take out her resentment on him.’ 

Mr Watts told the jury they had been living at Cuthbertson’s flat for ‘about a week’ after Malakai and his twin sister were brought home from hospital.

He described their relationship as ‘on and off’ and said once he went back to work, shortly after moving to Hythe, he ‘wasn’t there to help her’ with the three children as much.

Prosecutor Sally Howes QC told the jury at Winchester Crown Court (file photo, above) that Cuthbertson shook and squeezed their baby as she 'took out her resentment' that Mr Watts was not helping enough with their three children

Prosecutor Sally Howes QC told the jury at Winchester Crown Court (file photo, above) that Cuthbertson shook and squeezed their baby as she ‘took out her resentment’ that Mr Watts was not helping enough with their three children

This led to arguments and he said Cuthbertson would send him ‘not very nice’ text messages and ask him to leave her house.

In a prepared statement to police, Mr Watts said: ‘She seemed to enjoy antagonising me and saying it was her house.

‘She would be abusive towards me and seemed to mistrust me whenever I left for work.’

He said this led to her kicking him out in March 2018. They got back together when the twins were born, but problems resurfaced when he returned to work.

He said: ‘After I went back to work, Chelsea started being abusive towards me again, usually by text messages.’

Some of those text messages were read out in court by Ms Howes, with Cuthbertson writing ‘I’m sick of doing everything and being in all the time’, ‘my home isn’t a hotel and it’s just going back to when you lived here before’ and ‘people make time for their family, you never do’.

Cuthbertson denies murder.

The trial continues.

source : news.google.com

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