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Mum accused of murdering baby ‘described herself as a ticking time bomb’

Mum accused of murdering baby ‘described herself as a ticking time bomb’

A woman who killed her 19-day-old baby by causing him a massive head injury had earlier described herself as a "ticking time bomb", a court has heard.

Nicola Brown, 43, is accused of murder and two charges of causing grievous bodily harm to baby Jake Long, who was born on December 1 2014.

The trial at Winchester Crown Court heard that she is accused of previously hurting the boy, twice causing broken ribs.

Her husband, Jake's father Jason Brown, is accused of causing or allowing the death of a child.

The fatal incident happened while Nicola Brown was looking after Jake at their home in Agincourt Road, Portsmouth, on December 19 while her husband, 44, was at work as a fork lift driver on a building site.

Nigel Lickley QC, prosecuting, said Jake was subjected to such a severe injury that he would have suffered a "rapid collapse".

Mr Lickley said: "Jake suffered very serious injuries including a fracture to his skull, a brain injury and retinal bleeding to the eyes from an impact to his head that required a substantial force. He may also have been shaken violently.

"As a result of that force and impact, Jake was very probably rendered unconscious. He never recovered despite treatment at the Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth and Southampton General Hospital where he was later transferred."

He added: "She called 999 saying he wasn't well. She was to say she had been feeding Jake when he stopped breathing. She attributed his condition to a fall the day before when he had fallen from out of his Moses basket."

Mr Lickley said a post-mortem examination found that Jake had suffered other injuries, including rib fractures on two earlier occasions, once between 10 and 15 days earlier and the other between three and five days earlier.

He told the court she had not informed her doctor she was pregnant before Jake's birth and had not had a scan or arranged for a midwife.

He said: "Jake was born in unusual circumstances at home. He arrived into this world by falling into and being caught by the pyjamas or tracksuit bottoms of Nicola Brown.

"The paramedics were there, the pregnancy was unknown to medical professionals."

Mr Lickley said the couple had a "volatile relationship" and argued in the maternity unit at the Portsmouth hospital where she and the baby were taken.

He described how she suffered a bloody nose during one argument which Jason Brown said was caused by him pushing his arms up "in defence" when she pushed him away.

Mr Lickley said concerns were raised while they were in hospital for four days after the birth and a child protection plan was put in place by a safeguarding team.

He said Jake was deemed at risk but not of "immediate harm". Mother and son were discharged from hospital and visited by midwives on December 5 and 10 at their home, but no concerns for the baby's wellbeing were raised during these visits.

Mr Lickley said she made internet searches including "feeding problems".

He said the couple exchanged text messages in which Nicola Brown described herself and her husband as "ticking time bombs" and said she was seeking help for her emotional condition.

Mr Lickley said Jason Brown was charged in connection with the death for failing to protect his son.

He said: "His job as Jake's father was to protect him but he failed to discharge that basic duty."

The two defendants, who married after Jake's death, deny the offences and the trial continues.