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Staff tell of Ruby's last days

PUBLISHED: 11:55 13 June 2008 | UPDATED: 11:13 03 July 2010

Staff at the hostel where baby Ruby Spink was staying told yesterday of the days leading up to her death.

Workers at the Yarmouth women's hostel had alerted social services to concerns over her welfare and she was placed on the county's “at risk” register six days before she died.

Staff at the hostel where baby Ruby Spink was staying told yesterday of the days leading up to her death.

Workers at the Yarmouth women's hostel had alerted social services to concerns over her welfare and she was placed on the county's “at risk” register six days before she died.

The 11-month-old was pronounced dead at the James Paget University Hospital, near Gorleston, last Sept-ember. A post-mortem examination found she died after a blow to the head, Norwich Crown Court heard.

Her 18-year-old mother Laura Spink has already admitted neglect but her 17-year-old boyfriend, who cannot be named for legal reasons and is not the baby's father, denies murder. He claims that Ruby choked on a piece of cake while in his care.

Susan Green, from the hostel, recalled a number of occasions which led to concerns over Ruby's wellbeing. On September 3, she had a large bruise on her cheek and another over her eyebrow which Spink claimed happened when Ruby bumped her head.

The following day, fresh injuries were noticed as she had cut her gum and had new bruises. Blood was also spotted on her baby-grow.

Ms Green said: “I reported these concerns and a case conference was held involving social services, the police and staff from the hostel. A decision was taken to put Ruby on the child protection register, mean-ing all the services involved would have a particular interest in her welfare. It was also decided that Ruby should be seen every day because of her circumstances.”

The court had earlier heard that Ruby's “floppy and lifeless body” was taken to the James Paget on Septem-ber 16. As well as fatal head injuries, the post-mortem examination found she had suffered broken ribs and fractures to both legs in separate incidents before her death.

It found no evidence of any item blocking Ruby's airwaves.

Other residents of the hostel, which was for young women who either had children or were pregnant, expressed concern over Ruby's treatment. On one occasion, Spink, who moved into the hostel in June, was seen slapping her daughter around the face after she playfully hit another child.

The case continues.

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