Parents accused of murdering 10-week-old daughter ‘tried to blame the hospital for her death’


A mother and father accused of murdering their ten-week-old daughter tried to blame the hospital for her death, a court heard today.

Lily-Mai Saint George died from a serious head injury and had also suffered 18 rib fractures, two fractures in her leg and severe bruising.

Lauren Saint George and Darren Hurrell, both 25, allegedly shook their daughter to death eight days after she was released into their care against the advice of hospital staff.

The parents both deny murder, manslaughter, causing or allowing the death of a child and cruelty to a person under 16 years old.

Hurrell’s housing support worker told the court that he ‘got the impression that they were blaming the hospital for what happened’.

Lauren Saint George (pictured) and Darren Hurrell (below), both 25, allegedly shook their daughter to death eight days after she was released into their care against the advice of hospital staff. Pictured: Lauren Saint George arriving at Wood Green Crown Court in  London on June 14

'Darren had complained to me that Lauren was not motivated to go to the hospital to see the baby,' Darren Hurrell's housing support worker Anthony Monbelly told the court today. Pictured: Darren Hurrell arriving at Wood Green Crown Court on June 15

‘Darren had complained to me that Lauren was not motivated to go to the hospital to see the baby,’ Darren Hurrell’s housing support worker Anthony Monbelly told the court today. Pictured: Darren Hurrell arriving at Wood Green Crown Court on June 15

Lily-Mai was born prematurely in November 2017 and spent the first two months of her life in Barnet Hospital, before she was discharged into her parents’ care on January 25 2018.

Saint George and Hurrell had been homeless for several years and hospital staff tried to stop them taking Lily-Mai home, believing they were incapable of looking after her, jurors heard.

They were horrified when Saint George had told staff that she ‘hated’ the noises Lily-Mai made and wished she would ‘cry instead of groaning’.

The baby died at Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital on 2 February 2018, after being found unresponsive by her parents at their home in Belmont Road, Haringey, two days earlier.

Lily-Mai was 10 weeks and two days old and only two weeks past a normal pregnancy term.

Anthony Monbelly was Hurrell’s support worker when he lived in a housing association home.

Giving evidence today, Thursday, June 30, in a blue shirt and jeans, Mr Monbelly gave an account of a conversation he had with Hurrell in February 2018 about Lily-Mai’s collapse.

‘He said that he had been sleeping and Lauren had woken him and said that she didn’t know how to do the baby.

‘He said that he told her what to do and he got out of bed and it was then that he noticed that the baby was not well.’

The support worker went on to tell jurors that Hurrell was a heavy sleeper and because of this he had asked him if it was possible that Saint George could have done something to Lily-Mai.

‘Hurt the child in some way,’ he said.

‘Darren replied, “No, she would have told me.”

‘I got the impression that they were blaming the hospital for what happened…’

In 2017/18, Mr Monbelly worked for Riverside Housing Association (RHA) which assisted single homeless people.

As a support worker, he would help young homeless people to move on successfully.

Hurrell had been referred to RHA in 2016 and was given ‘single occupancy housing’ which he began to share with Saint George when they got together, the court heard.

Mr Monbelly said that staff would do regular unannounced visits and, as a result, discovered that Saint George was living with her boyfriend in one of their properties.

The support worker told Hurrell that he was putting himself at risk of eviction.

In 2017, before Lily-Mai was born, management evicted the couple from the home.

But Mr Monbelly continued to support Hurrell even after his eviction.

Asked about the dad-to-be’s attitude towards the pregnancy, he said: ‘Darren was just very very happy. Excited and looking forward to it.’

After Lily-Mai was born, Mr Monbelly noticed that Hurrell became the main carer, jurors heard.

‘Darren had complained to me that Lauren was not motivated to go to the hospital to see the baby,’ he said.

‘He was the main one.

‘He felt quite sad, emotionally sad about it.’

Mr Monbelly told the court Darren Hurrell 'did not trust' Lily-Mai's mother. Lauren Saint George (pictured), to administer her anaemia medication

Mr Monbelly told the court Darren Hurrell ‘did not trust’ Lily-Mai’s mother. Lauren Saint George (pictured), to administer her anaemia medication

'Darren was happy, a very proud dad. He was beaming,' Mr Monbelly said. 'Darren fed her, burped her, changed her. He seemed to be the primary carer. Darren was the doting parent.'

‘Darren was happy, a very proud dad. He was beaming,’ Mr Monbelly said. ‘Darren fed her, burped her, changed her. He seemed to be the primary carer. Darren was the doting parent.’

On January 29, the parents brought Lily-Mai to visit Mr Monbelly at his offices.

‘Darren was happy, a very proud dad. He was beaming.

‘Darren fed her, burped her, changed her

‘He seemed to be the primary carer.

‘Darren was the doting parent.’

When asked about the parents’ attitude towards Lily-Mai’s medical needs, Mr Monbelly said: ‘Darren told me that the baby had anaemia and needed medication and he would give this to her.

‘I got the impression that he did not trust Lauren to do it.

‘He also said that he was concerned that the baby was flopping.’

About the flopping, Mr Monbelly went on: ‘I did notice it too.

‘He didn’t need to describe what that meant because I, visually, noticed that the baby was a bit floppy.

‘The hospital had told them that this would happen because of her anaemia. I remember Darren saying that to me.’

Questioned on Saint George’s maternal behaviour, the support worker added: ‘Lauren was holding the baby at times. She had little or no intervention with the baby.’

Saint George, of Bonnington House, Enfield, and Hurrell, of Meadow Lane, Alvaston, Derby, deny murder, manslaughter, causing or allowing the death of a child and cruelty to a person under 16 years old.

The trial continues.

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