The trial of parents accused of killing their baby son has been told the mother was regular victim of violence from her partner.
A’Keill Walker died on 31st July 2016, after he was taken to Bristol Children’s Hospital, from his home in Gloucester.
Parents Hannah Henry, 21 and Alistair Walker, 27, are facing charges of manslaughter, causing or allowing the neglect of a child, and child neglect – with both denying the charges.
Witness Toni Lester today took to the witness box to describe her relationship with Henry.
Lester lived with Hannah Henry, and her mother Tracey Buckingham at a B&B in Gloucester whilst Henry was pregnant with her first child.
She told of how Henry would tell her that the couple were arguing, and that when she invited Henry out, wasn’t always allowed to leave the house.
Walker also allegedly kept hold of Henry’s purse and phone, and she often left the house without her keys.
“Hannah claimed the right benefits, but he had her purse. She struggled with money and to buy baby milk, nappies and baby wipes,” she said.
The court also heard of an alleged assault that took place in February 2015, where Walker had punched Henry in the jaw – leaving her lying on a busy road in the city, with a mouthful of blood, a loose tooth and unable to speak without slurs.
Lester said both Henry’s children were “well dressed, well fed and very much loved” but added Henry told of her fear of leaving Walker.
Defence barrister Jeminipe Akin-Olugbade alleged Henry was not with Walker when she was seen with bruises, adding she was with a different partner at the time and hadn’t met Walker until later that year.
Lester replied: “That’s a lie.”
The court heard last week from a paramedic who had found the child “naked, soaking wet, with dilated eyes, and pink bubbles coming from his nose”.
The trial continues.