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Trial told baby was 'twizzled'

PUBLISHED: 10:39 30 June 2008 | UPDATED: 11:19 03 July 2010

A 17-year-old accused of murdering baby Ruby Spink said she died after hitting her head on a wall - despite earlier claiming she choked on a piece of cake.

A 17-year-old accused of murdering baby Ruby Spink said she died after hitting her head on a wall - despite earlier claiming she choked on a piece of cake.

The youth, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, told Norwich Crown Court on Friday he had taken the baby out of her cot while her 18-year-old mother, Laura Spink, was out of the room at a hostel in Yarmouth.

He said he was “twizzling” her about, holding her around the waist to try to cheer her up.

He said: “She banged her head on the wall. I stopped just after her head hit the wall.

“Her eyes were barely open and she could not hold herself.

“She was hardly breathing. She looked hot so I put some water on her cheeks to cool her down. I said Ruby had choked on some cake but that was not true. I lied because I thought I was going to get into serious trouble.

“It was obvious to me Ruby was badly injured. I didn't say I had been twizzling Ruby round as I did not have the guts. I didn't want to lose Laura.”

The court had earlier heard that after being rushed to the James Paget University Hospital at Gorleston, Ruby had been treated by doctors under the assumption she had choked. A post-mortem found no evidence of this.

Spink, who has already admitted neglect, had been listening to his evidence but left the court before he described her baby's death.

He went on to describe how he did not tell anybody at the hospital how Ruby actually died and left shortly after she arrived.

Christopher Morgan, prosecuting, said: “You listened to the medical evidence and you were desperate for an explanation and you have now advanced this story saying it was an accident?”

“No,” replied the youth.

“Why didn't you give Ruby her dummy like you usually do?” Mr Morgan asked.

“I thought I would try something different to cheer her up,” said the youth, explaining why he was playing with Ruby.

Medical evidence showed Ruby died from a “blunt force injury to the head”.

Asked why he had told everyone she had choked on a piece of cake, the defendant, who is not the child's father, replied: “Saying she choked on a piece of cake seemed a lot better. I felt it would get me out of trouble.”

He denied abusing the child and said Ruby's death had been a tragic accident.

He admitted he could not stand screaming children but denied he thought baby Ruby got in the way of his relationship with Spink.

The case continues.

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