Baby murder trial hears mother joked tot self-harmed
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The mother of a baby allegedly murdered by her father joked that a scab found on her daughter's nose was caused by self-harming, a court has heard.
Carly Easey, 36, is on trial at Norwich Crown Court, charged with allowing the death of a child, her daughter Eleanor, and cruelty to a person under 16.
Her husband Christopher, 31, is on trial accused of Eleanor's murder.
Paramedics found Eleanor "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, allowed the death to occur.
On Wednesday (January 26) Fiona Ebbs, a midwife who conducts community visits, told the court about visiting the Easey's then home at Gayton following Eleanor's discharge from hospital on September 26, 2019.
Mrs Ebbs told Sally Howes QC, prosecuting, that Carly Easey had joked about a scab she spotted on the side of Eleanor's nose during a visit on October 11, 2019.
She said: "She (Carly Easey) said she (Eleanor) had been self-harming, jokingly".
Mrs Ebbs said she was told Eleanor had a finger "wedged up her nose" which is why he had been wearing scratch mitts, although the midwife could not recall seeing any on at the time.
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She was asked by Miss Howes whether she believed the explanation given for the scab on Eleanor's face.
Mrs Ebbs said: "I didn't accept her explanation she had done this to herself."
On previous visits to the couple's home she had made reference to their "boisterous" dogs which were put away in the car during visits.
Earlier, the jury of six men and six women heard from social worker Faye Kimber who received a referral due to Eleanor's birth being a 'concealed pregnancy', which was not reported to health professionals.
She was concerned about Carly Easey's "attachment" to her baby given that it was a concealed pregnancy and that Eleanor was not visited by her mother while she was on the neo natal intensive care unit.
The social worker initially visited the couple on September 26, 2019, the same day Eleanor was discharged home, and noted their property was "clean and uncluttered".
She also noticed their two "boisterous, agile and athletic dogs".
On a later visit, on October 7, 2019, the social worker said she discussed her concerns about the dogs with Mr and Mrs Easey.
She said: "I felt the dogs were loved by Mr and Mrs Easey but I didn't think the dogs were controlled very well by them.
"My concern was Eleanor was a premature baby and was, at the time in her bouncer, and the dogs were around her and Mr and Mrs Easey couldn't see a risk posed by the dogs to the baby."
She said she saw Eleanor as being "vulnerable" and was concerned they would not respond as they "weren't aware of the risks and wouldn't be able to protect Eleanor from the dogs".
The court heard Carly Easey was upset and "stormed out" thinking she was being told she could not look after her baby.
Christopher Easey said he grew up with animals and felt there was a "bigger risk from keeping animals apart from children "as they can become jealous".
But both were told they were going to have to take steps to "safeguard the baby from the dogs".
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.