January 2014

Mother jailed for life for battering her baby then posing for a selfie as he lay dying

emma_wilson

  • Emma Wilson, 25, hit Callum so violently her neighbour’s ceiling shook

  • The 11-month-old suffered ‘catastrophic injuries’ at Wilson’s Windsor flat

  • After the attack Wilson posed for photo, grinning, next to her crying son

  • Callum suffered fatal brain damage, nine fractured ribs, broken leg and arm

  • Wilson claimed her ‘rough’ older son, who was two, had injured his brother

  • Denied murder but jury at Old Bailey delivered unanimous guilty verdict  

A mother who took selfies with the battered 11-month-old son she had beaten, causing him to suffer brain damage which later caused his death, was jailed for 14 years today.

Emma Wilson repeatedly hit baby Callum so violently her neighbour’s ceiling shook.

She then blamed the attack on his two-year-old brother, the Old Bailey heard.

The court heard that Callum suffered a catalogue of abuse at the hands of his mother in the weeks before his death, during which she took ‘before’ and ‘after’ photographs of herself with him.

The abuse culminated in a violent attack on 17 March, after which Callum was taken to hospital where he died from ‘unsurvivable’ brain dramage three days later.

Today Wilson was jailed for life and told by the judge she must serve a minimum of 14 years in prison.

Judge Stephen Kramer QC told her: ‘You are adept at lying and displayed a total lack of emotion throughout the trial.

‘You must have been the person who caused his injuries.’

He added: ‘You were clearly a good mother to your other son but for some reason you rejected Callum and acted against him.

‘Callum was vulnerable and you must have been the person who caused him the injuries which in the last 10 to 14 days of his life made him so miserable which the court saw in photographs, that for some reason you took.’

Callum was rushed to the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford with ‘catastrophic injuries’ and died on March 20, 2011.

A post mortem revealed the 11-month-old had suffered fatal brain damage, as well as nine fractured ribs, a broken leg and arm.

The court heard how Wilson posed for ‘selfie’ photoraphs of her and her son before and after the abuse.  The latter pictures show her grinning next to her crying son, whose face shows obvious injuries.

Another showed the 11-month-old moving away from a young boy wielding a pair of open secateurs.

But in a bid to offer an explanation Wilson blamed the attack on her other child, claiming Callum’s ‘boisterous’ and ‘rough’ two-year-old brother was to blame.

She said the boy was jealous of his younger sibling.

In a gruesome twist, the 25-year-old, who had told people Callum was her cousin’s son, had his battered body buried in an unmarked communal grave.

A jury at the Old Bailey took 10 hours to find Wilson guilty of murder by a unanimous verdict.

During the trial jurors heard how Wilson left her new-born son in Wexham Park Hospital after he was born on April 23, 2010.

She then kept his existence a secret for seven months, while he was in foster care.

She claimed she had put her son up for adoption because her boyfriend at the time, Neil Richardson, ‘thought she couldn’t cope with two children’.

In November 2010 Wilson took Callum out of foster care and brought him to live in her council flat in Windsor.

Health and social workers spotted scratches on Callum during visits to her flat over the next few months, but Wilson blamed them on the boy’s ‘boisterous’ brother, the jury was told.

Neighbours described hearing five or six loud bangs that caused the ceiling to shake above their living room the night before paramedics were called to Wilson’s home in Windsor.  The judge said today that the bangs were so loud, ‘the neighbours thought the kid was going to come through the floor’.

In cross examination prosecutor Paul Dunkels QC said: ‘It couldn’t have been your eldest child, climbing up the furniture and jumping off.

‘Their evidence was they [the bangs] were seconds apart.  He wouldn’t have been able to get up, jump off it and climb up it again.’

The next morning Wilson had told an emergency operator the child was ‘lifeless and not doing anything’.

The recording revealed Wilson said: ‘I just got him out the cot. He was fine when he went to bed. He’s lifeless and not doing anything. He’s making noises but I don’t know.’

Callum had obvious bruising to his face and later examination revealed he had suffered severe brain damage and fractures to nine ribs, left leg and his right arm.

The jury were shown computer-generated images of the injuries, some of which Wilson tried to blame on her efforts to revive her son.

She said that when she tried to check her son’s airway she tore his lip and claimed she never hurt him, saying: ‘It’s the best thing in the world being a mum.’

But Mr Dunkels said that Wilson had been unable to put forward a ‘plausible explanation’ for the injuries.

‘Callum was in her sole care at her flat throughout that 13-hour period and nothing she has said can explain what has happened to him.

‘The effect of the injuries would have been immediate and catastrophic.’

Wilson was accused of killing her child because she knew her partner at the time, Neil Richardson, was not the father, according to her defence barrister Michael Turner QC.

Mr Turner added: ‘Emma Wilson chose to bury Callum in a communal grave without a headstone.’

December 2013

Mother facing life sentence for sons death

A young mother who took pictures of her eleven month old son’s injuries before battering him to death is facing a life sentence today after being found guilty of murder

Emma Wilson, 25, beat son Callum so violently she shook her neighbour’s ceiling and then blamed his two year-old brother, the Old Bailey heard.

Callum died at John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford on March 20, 2011, after suffering fatal brain damage.

Two weeks before his death Callum suffered fractures to nine ribs, his left leg and his right arm. There was also bleeding around the optic nerves on both eyes and he had suffered a detached retina. There was also bruising to his face, head, chest, back and leg.

A post mortem examination revealed severe swelling to the baby’s brain, to the extent it had shifted within the skull and was pushing down on the stem

Wilson had her baby boy buried in an unmarked communal grave.

November 2013

Young mother ‘battered baby son to death after covering up abuse by claiming he was not her child’

emma

  • Two weeks before he died Callum had fractures to nine ribs, his leg and arm

  • 11-month-old was found unconscious in his cot on March 18, 2011

  • He died two days later from a severe head injury caused by a blunt impact

  • Mother Emma Wilson, 25, denies murdering the child she claimed was her cousin’s son

A young mother battered her 11-month-old son to death after covering up months of abuse by pretending he was not her child, the Old Bailey heard today.

Emma Wilson, 25, is accused of inflicting an ‘unsurvivable brain injury’ on her son Callum, who had also lost sight from a detached retina and had multiple fractures and bruising all over his body.

The jury heard she used a false name for her son and claimed that she was looking after him for her cousin.

She paid hardly any attention to the boy on trips to the nursery and shrugged off concerns about the number of bruises on his face, it is claimed.

Two weeks before his death Callum suffered fractures to nine ribs, his left leg and his right arm, the court heard.

The injuries were not discovered until the boy was rushed to hospital after being found unconscious in his cot on the morning of March 18, 2011.

Wilson, who denies murder, remained calm and did not appear to be upset at the plight of her child, the court heard.

Callum died two days later as a result of a severe head injury caused by a blunt impact.

Wilson claimed ‘constant pushing and rolling’ of Callum by his then 23-month-old brother, who can not be named for legal reasons, may have been to blame.

Prosecutor Paul Dunkels QC said: ‘The injuries were a culmination of a series of violent acts by her towards her vulnerable son.

‘She must have realised she was causing Callum a great deal of pain. Her last and fatal assault on him involved a forceful impact on his head. 

‘It must have been a directly blow to his head or striking his head on something.

‘It may have been done in a moment of temper, it might have been regretted immediately after it was done but at the critical moment that was her intention.’

A post mortem examination revealed severe swelling to the baby’s brain, to the extent it had shifted within the skull and was pushing down on the stem

There was also bleeding around the optic nerves on both eyes and he had suffered a detached retina.

The pathologist also discovered old and new fractures to ribs on both the youngster’s back and front, one to his wrist and one to his lower leg. There was bruising to his face, head, chest, back and leg.

The court heard Wilson tried to hide Callum’s existence from her family and friends after his birth on April 23, 2010.

She became pregnant with the boy while having an affair with a young man, Lee Workman, and DNA tests later proved her partner Neil Mitchinson was not the father, jurors were told.

Wilson planned to put him up for adoption and gave him away to a foster parent but changed her mind and took him into her home in November that year.

Two days later a social worker noticed a tiny scratch on his face but Wilson claimed it had been caused by an older boy.

In January 2011 the GP also noted five scratches to his nose and side of his face and bruises to his forehead and cheek.

Wilson gave the same explanation but insisted she did not have any concerns.

During the same period staff at a local nursery, the Woodlands Park Village Children’s Centre in Maidenhead, Berkshire, also noticed bruising.

Wilson had given the boy’s name as Callum Keeler and claimed he was her cousin’s baby.

‘She used this to distance herself from the many bruises,’ said the prosecutor.

‘Witnesses describe how Callum always used to have old and fresh bruises on his face.’

Wilson told one witness that ‘she dreaded taking him back to his mum as his mum must think she beats him’.

Mr Dunkels said the abuse led to Callum becoming increasingly withdrawn and less mobile.

‘In the early days he had been a happy, smiling baby but he became blank, emotionless and listless,’ said the prosecutor.

‘She [Emma Wilson] gave the impression that her relationship with Callum was not that of mother and son.

‘It seemed that she was annoyed at having to look after Callum for her cousin.’

Experts believe that Callum suffered the fractures to his ribs, arm and leg between March 6 and 10.

Mr Dunkels said that Wilson did not take her son to the nursery between March 8 and 9.

‘The prosecution suggest she may have been keeping Callum away while he made some recovery from the effects of the injuries she had caused to him at that time,’ he added.

On March 11 another mother heard Callum screaming and crying at the swimming pool and then noticed him with new bruises on his face, the court heard.

Four days later a nursery assistant also noticed a large bruise on his cheek and one of the mothers described him as being ‘the worst she had ever seen him,’ it is claimed.

On March 17, Wilson explained away bruising by claiming that Callum had fallen off a toy at the nursery.

She told staff she was not bringing him to a ‘Stay and Play’ event the next day because she did not have to look after her cousin’s child on Fridays.

Mr Dunkels said: ‘Right to the end she was perpetuating her lies as to who Callum was and distancing herself from him by concealing their true relationship.’

Photographs of Callum during this period also revealed the bruising to his face – including one in which Wilson grins next to her crying son.

‘This is a photograph taken when he is obviously pretty miserable – that doesn’t seem to be a matter of concern judging by the look on her face,’ said Mr Dunkels.

Another photo showed Callum moving away from a young boy wielding a pair of open secateurs.

Wilson took Callum to her parents’ home on the afternoon of March 17 before heading back to her flat in Windsor at 7pm.

‘At some time over the next 13 hours when Callum was in her sole care at her flat he received a fatal blow to his head and the earlier fractured ribs were re-fractured,’ said Mr Dunkels.

Their neighbours downstairs heard five or six loud banging noises which shook their ceiling between 7.30pm and 8pm, the court heard.

The next morning at around 8am Wilson’s mother dialled 999 after receiving a phone call from her daughter.

Speaking to her mother, Wilson said: ‘I just got him out the cot. He was fine when he went to bed. he’s lifeless and not doing anything. He’s making noises but I don’t know.’

Paramedics noticed bruises above his left eye and on the side of his mouth.

Mr Dunkels said that Wilson had been unable to put forward a ‘plausible explanation’ for the injuries.

‘Callum was in her sole care at her flat throughout that 13 hour period and nothing she has said can explain what has happened to him.

‘The effect of the injuries would have been immediate and catastrophic.’

Wilson, of Windsor, denies murder.

The trial continues.