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Baby found in 'red and floppy' state

PUBLISHED: 09:34 24 June 2008 | UPDATED: 11:17 03 July 2010

A teenage mum told a Norwich Crown Court jury yesterday how she left her 11-month-old baby in a room with her boyfriend and when she returned found the child was “red and floppy” and hardly breathing and was told that she had choked on a piece of cake.

A teenage mum told a Norwich Crown Court jury yesterday how she left her 11-month-old baby in a room with her boyfriend and when she returned found the child was “red and floppy” and hardly breathing and was told that she had choked on a piece of cake.

Baby Ruby Spink was rushed to the James Paget Hospital in Gorleston on September 16, last year. A post-mortem showed she was killed by a blow to the head - and she had also suffered broken ribs and fractures to both legs in separate incidents before her death. Ruby's 18-year-old mum Laura Spink has already admitted neglect but her 17-year-old boyfriend, who cannot be named for legal reasons, denies murder. Instead he claims that Ruby died accidentally after choking on a piece of cake.

However paramedics found nothing blocking Ruby's airwaves and pathologist Nat Cary confirmed this was not the cause of death.

Giving evidence Spink said although her boyfriend was banned from staying over at the Yarmouth hostel he had spent the night with her and her baby.

She said she had taken Ruby out that day and returned to the hostel with a cake for her boyfriend.

One of the residents wanted to borrow a swim aid for their child so she had left her boyfriend in the room with Ruby while she went to see the other resident.

“I gave him his cake and I went out of the room. He said he was going to give Ruby some cake and I said no, and he would not listen to me.”

When she returned to the room about 10 minutes later she found the baby on her boyfriend's lap and she was “red and floppy.”

“He had his hands round her neck and was tapping her back. She was hardly breathing.”

He said Ruby had choked on some cake and she rang for an ambulance.

She tried to resuscitate Ruby and when the ambulance arrived she was taken off by paramedics.

Spink admitted that at the hospital she told staff she had given Ruby some cake as she said her boyfriend had asked her not to say it was him.

She said the defendant, who was not Ruby's father, did not stay with her at the hospital and later she texted him to tell him Ruby had died.

Asked if she had caused the head injury to the baby Spink replied “no” and she also denied causing any injuries to Ruby.

However she said that the boyfriend had on a few occasions roughly handled Ruby.

On one occasion she said he picked the baby up by its leg and arm and threw Ruby about six inches down her cot and told her to shut up. Another time he picked Ruby up in the same way and dropped her again in her cot although this time from a greater height.

She said: “I told him he can't treat her that way.” She said she checked Ruby to make sure she was not hurt and said: “If I spoke to him about what he'd done he would just walk out.”

The trial continues.

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