Baby murder trial told of midwife's concerns
- Credit: Brittany Woodman, Archant Norfolk
A midwife was concerned how a baby allegedly murdered by her father would be cared for by her parents after her birth, a court has heard.
Christopher Easey, 31, is on trial at Norwich Crown Court, charged with the murder of his daughter, Eleanor.
Paramedics found her "pale, floppy and lethargic" after they were called to her Morton on the Hill home, near Lenwade at about 8.25pm on December 18, 2019.
She was later transferred to Addenbrooke's in Cambridge where she died on December 20 2019 as the result of a catastrophic brain injury.
The prosecution asserts Eleanor died as a result of an "inflicted, non-accidental injury" by her father Christopher while her mother, Carly Easey, allowed the death to occur.
Alicia Greenslade, a midwife at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) in King's Lynn, said he had "cause for concern" following Eleanor's birth.
On Monday (January 24) she told Sally Howes QC, prosecuting: "I did wonder how they would be able to manage to look after a new born baby.
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"It did concern me."
Miss Greenslade said Carly Easey seemed "quite stable" emotionally, despite the massive change in her life which was something that gave her cause for concern.
She said she had been expecting the new mother to be "a bit more worried about whether she had things ready at home".
But she said Carly Easey "seemed to want to go back to her life" prior to Eleanor's arrival.
Miss Greenslade said there were also concerns about her husband Christopher in that "sometimes he would mention things that were untrue".
She said: "One of the things he mentioned to me is his job was quite similar to what mine was with him being a vet and he had delivered a lamb that morning".
She said she knew from a handover note from the delivery suite that Christopher Easey stating he was a vet was "untrue".
Earlier in the day the jury of six men and six women heard from other midwives at the QEH, including Felicity Grunberg, who said Eleanor's birth was treated as a "concealed pregnancy".
She said it had appeared Carly Easey was in labour when she arrived at hospital although "she didn't think she was".
Mrs Grunberg said Carly Easey said she suffered from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and thought that might be the cause.
She had told the midwife she had suffered a miscarriage the year before, which had been "a traumatic experience" for her.
Although she was not shocked at discovering she was pregnant Carly Easey "did say she didn't feel ready for a baby".
Mrs Grunberg said as it was a “concealed pregnancy”, in that the pregnancy had not been declared it to any health professional prior to birth, a safeguarding referral would be made.
She said a referral would be made to the local safeguarding team “to say we might have some concerns of the wellbeing of the baby”.
The witness said making such a referral “may trigger social services to become involved”.
Apart from the concealed pregnancy the midwife said she did not have any concerns.
Mrs Grunberg was asked how she found Christopher Easey to be.
She said that while he "appeared to be supportive" of his wife she remembered him "several times making reference to birthing calves".
Mrs Grunberg said: "I assumed he was of a farming background."
She said that in describing the birth several times he said "well, you don’t do it like that with calves".
Christopher Easey, of Ely Road, Little Thetford, Ely, has denied murdering Eleanor and a charge of cruelty to a person under 16.
Carly Easey, 36, of Elizabeth Drive, Chedburgh, has denied causing or allowing the death of a child and a charge of cruelty to a person under 16.
The trial continues.