The mum of a baby which was allegedly shaken to death by a teenage boy has told a court that she sent him text messages of a sexual nature in order to find out how her baby died.
Kelly Middleton also told Nottingham Crown Court yesterday that the defendant Scott Gladwin ‘was a help’ to her in looking after her three children after her partner had left.
Gladwin (20) is accused of the manslaughter of Mrs Middleton’s four-month-old son Scott Cawthorne, who died in February 2010 after being left in Gladwin’s care while Mrs Middleton went out to the shops.
He has denied a charge of manslaughter.
Under cross-examination from Shaun Smith QC, defending Gladwin, Mrs Middleton told the court that she would leave Gladwin to look after her two young sons and that he was ‘comfortable’ in handling baby Scott.
She agreed that there had never been an occasion when Gladwin was with the children that she felt something was not right.
During an interview with police, she said: “The only thing he did wrong around the children was occasionally swear.
“He was quite good at looking after children and there was nothing to cause me concern.”
The court was told that Gladwin had been living with Mrs Middleton and her children at their house on Woodland Avenue in Huthwaite for several months before baby Scott died.
He had moved in after falling out with his parents, who lived next door.
But this fact was something that Mrs Middleton had never told her health visitor or social worker and following the incident on 3rd February, she initially told the authorities that he had only been living there for a few days.
When asked by Mr Smith why she had said that Gladwin had looked after the children for the first time on that day, she replied in tears: “I just wanted to keep my children.”
Mrs Middleton denied having any sexual relationship with Gladwin, who is 12 years younger than her, but did admit to sending him text messages of a sexual nature after the baby had died and bail conditions had banned them from contacting each other.
Phone records show that they exchanged 73 text messages, while numerous phone calls were also made between 13th February 2010 and 8th March, some of the phone calls lasting two hours.
She said that they had met up once because she wanted to find out how the baby had died.
That is also why she continued to contact him and lied about doing so.
“I knew I was not getting the full story because the story was the same each time,” she told the court.
Mrs Middleton told the court that she would text Gladwin, telling him that she would meet him and wanted to have sex with him, in order to give him ‘false hope’ and to ‘keep him on board’.
Mr Smith asked her if she was the last person to hold baby Scott, if she had lost her temper with him and if she had then started lying to cover up what she had done.
“I would never lose my temper with a child,” she answered.
“Not for one second.”
The trial continues.