Leiland-James Corkill death: Former care worker found guilty of murdering one-year-old boy she was hoping to adopt | UK News

Leiland-James Corkill death: Former care worker found guilty of murdering one-year-old boy she was hoping to adopt | UK News

A woman has been found guilty of murdering a one-year-old boy who she was hoping to adopt.

Laura Castle, 38, had previously pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of Leiland-James Corkill who died from catastrophic head injuries in January 2021.

She was also convicted on Tuesday of child cruelty.

The baby had only been living with Castle for less than five months, and the former care worker last week told Preston Crown Court she admitted killing him to “give him justice”.

She had originally claimed his death was a tragic accident and he had fallen off the sofa and hit his head at her home in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria.

But on the day the jury was sworn in last month for her trial, she changed her version of events as she admitted she had shaken the boy after he had not stopped crying at breakfast.

She said his head struck the arm-rest of the sofa before he fell off her knee on to the floor.

But medical experts told the court the amount of force required to cause his injuries would have been “severe” and likely to be down to shaking and an impact with a solid surface.

Prosecutors argued she killed the boy as she lost her temper and suggested she smashed the back of his head against a piece of furniture.

She denied intending to kill Leiland-James or seriously harm him but jurors took just over two hours to convict her of murder.

Boy was a ‘looked-after child’ who was taken into care at birth

The boy had been placed with Castle and her husband Scott Castle, 35, by authorities in Cumbria less than five months before his death.

The youngster was a “looked-after child” who was taken into care at birth before he was approved to live with his prospective adoptive parents from August 2020.

Laura Castle rang for an ambulance on 6 January last year and reported the child had fallen off the sofa, hurt his head and was finding it hard to breathe.

However, hospital medics expressed concerns as the scale of his injuries did not fit with her account.

Leiland-James died the following day as Laura Castle told police, family and friends that the death was an accident while her husband, a night shift worker, was asleep.

Castle’s husband was acquitted

Scott Castle, 35, was found not guilty of allowing Leiland-James’ death and was also acquitted of child cruelty.

He said he never had any concerns that anything bad was going to happen with the boy and he trusted his wife.

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Author: Shirley