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Mum guilty of shaking baby to death after docs advised against sending tot home

A 25-year-old woman has been found guilty at the Old Bailey of the infanticide of her 10-week-old daughter Lily-Mai.

Lauren Saint George is facing life in prison after shaking daughter Lily-Mai Saint George, causing a fatal head injury, as well as inflicting 18 rib fractures, two leg fractures and severe bruising upon the tot.

Little Lily-Mai died after social workers allowed her to go home from hospital and into her parents’ care, against the advice of healthcare professionals.

The baby girl died in a ‘violent and abusive’ attack after George lost her temper, a court heard.

The tot suffered 18 rib fractures, two fractures in her leg and severe bruising and died from a serious head injury.

She was released into her parents’ care against the advice of hospital staff, who had concerns over her parents’ ability to care for the child.

Saint George denied murder, manslaughter and child cruelty while Lily-Mai’s father Darren Hurrell, also 25, denies child cruelty.

Lily-Mai was born prematurely in November 2017 and spent the first two months of her life in Barnet Hospital, north London.

She was later discharged into her parents’ care in January 2018.

Saint George and Hurrell had been homeless and staff had tried to stop them taking Lily-Mai home, believing they were incapable of looking after her, jurors heard.

They were horrified when Saint George had told staff that she ‘hated’ the noises Lily-Mai made and wished she would ‘cry instead of groaning’.

The baby died at Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital in February 2018, after being found unresponsive by her parents at their home in Haringey, two days earlier.

She was 10 weeks and two days old and only two weeks past a normal pregnancy term.

Prosecutor Sally O’Neill QC previously told jurors: “The mechanism was by being shaken so that effectively her brain moved backwards and forwards inside her skull causing the injuries of which you have heard.

“It is the prosecution’s case that this unlawful and violent assault on Lily-Mai was caused as a result of a sudden loss of temper on the part of Lauren Saint George.”

The mother is said to have lost her temper after Haringey social worker Theresa Ferguson told her she would need to go into a mother and baby unit or the child would be taken into care.

Jurors heard Saint George grew “very angry” and swore at Ms Ferguson, telling the social worker to “take the baby”.

Ms O’Neill said the main problem in Lily-Mai’s life was her own mother.

“It is she who grabbed her, shook her, and twisted and pulled her leg. It was she who acted unlawfully,” she continued.

“The one person who should most have protected her, her mother, not only failed to protect her by getting her urgent medical attention… but unlawfully assaulted her deliberately in that violent and abusive way.”

She blamed the baby for her sleeplessness, for having to potentially leave her home and for threatening her relationship with Hurrell as he was putting Lily-Mai before her, it is said.

“The main problem in Lily-Mai’s short life was tragically her own mother,” Ms O’Neill told the Old Bailey.

The prosecutor went on to accuse both parents of wilfully neglecting Lily-Mai.

Hurrell’s police interview was “riddled” with the medical signs the hospital had told them to look out for, the court heard.

The father told police that Lily-Mai had been going blue, pale, floppy and off her food in the days leading up to her collapse.

It is said he knew that getting Lily-Mai urgent medical attention might result in having her removed from their care.

“That was putting his and their interest before that of the baby and we submit that is wilful neglect of her,” Ms O’Neill said.