A mother accused of murdering her six-week-old baby boy told a court that she found her son “blue” and seriously ill after going out to smoke a joint of cannabis.

Chelsea Cuthbertson, 28, denies the murder of Malakai Watts, who was rushed to hospital from the family’s two-bedroom apartment in Hythe on February 2, 2019.

The baby, who was born on Christmas Day 2018, was put into an induced coma in a pediatric intensive care unit at Southampton General Hospital, but a decision was made to turn off his life support four days later and he died on February 6.

Prosecutor Sally Howes QC told Winchester Crown Court that a post-mortem examination showed Malakai died of a head trauma likely to have been caused by shaking, possibly with impact.

He also suffered eight rib fractures, one suffered earlier than the other seven, the court heard.

Cuthbertson said the night before Malakai’s illness, she smoked a cannabis joint with her partner Del Watts and drank wine.

She said Malakai was fine that evening, but in the early morning Mr. Watts woke her up because he was worried about the baby.

Cuthbertson added that Malakai “moans” at night and uses her phone to play lullabies to help him fall asleep.

She said, “Del woke me up about Malakai’s breathing, that he was breathing fast, we were in bed, I checked him and he was fine.”

The defendant said she woke up again around 4.30am to feed Malakai, but she did not hear Mr. Watts get up to go to work around 7.15am.

The defendant said that at 9 a.m. on February 2, she was out for about 15 minutes during which she smoked a joint and watched Facebook on her phone.

Cuthbertson said when she got into the house she made baby milk for Malakai and when she went to the bedroom she thought he was sleeping because he wasn’t making any noise.

She said: “I saw Malakai straight away, he was blue. I dialed 999 straight away.”

Cuthbertson said she then performed CPR chest compressions during call 999 until a paramedic arrived who took over before Malakai was taken to hospital.

She said: “I was devastated, I had never seen baby blue before.”

Cuthbertson added that the CPR felt like it had lasted a “lifetime”.

When asked if she knew what was wrong with Malakai or what had happened to her, she replied, “No.”

Cuthbertson denied that he deliberately hurt or rocked Malakai.

The trial continues.



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