Daughter ‘would not hurt anyone’, murder trial told
AMOTHER accused of murdering her five-week-old son would not hurt anyone, a court has been told.
Sean Clark was 39 days old when he was found dead in his cot at his father’s home near Bristol in January 2018.
Bristol Crown Court heard he had been assaulted on at least three occasions during his short life, suffering 71 rib fractures and head injuries, by either of his parents James Clark, 31, or Helen Jeremy, 27.
It is claimed Sean suffered serious rib injuries on the evening of January 11 and then three days later was the victim of a fatal attack.
Jeremy’s mother Jane Jeremy told the jury: “She wouldn’t hurt anyone. She is a good kid and never in trouble with the police until now.”
Jeremy lived with Sean at her parents’ home in Kingswood, while Clark lived with his mother in Warmley, South Gloucestershire. At weekends they would stay at each other’s homes with Sean.
The court heard Jeremy and Sean had gone to Clark’s home on January 11 to stay for the weekend.
Asked about the days leading up to her grandson’s death, Mrs Jeremy said: “I didn’t want them to go in the first place and said to her to come home.
“But they said she could come home but the baby had to stay, so she stayed. She didn’t come because Sean didn’t come.”
The following evening, Mrs Jeremy and her daughter exchanged text messages as Sean had been crying a lot that day.
Mrs Jeremy messaged her daughter: “I won’t sleep and I’m worried to death. Has James’s mum any ideas?”
Her daughter replied: “No, she hardly bothers with him.”
Mrs Jeremy wrote: “What does James say, won’t you all be better off here? I can come and get the three of you. We only want to help.”
Her daughter replied: “I know you do but J wants to stay here.”
Mrs Jeremy wrote: “Why does he not care? I can’t help if you don’t help me, is it fair? Sean hasn’t been hurt, has he?”
Jane Osborne, prosecuting, asked Mrs Jeremy why she had sent that message and she replied: “I wasn’t happy about him being down there.”
Mrs Jeremy sent her daughter a further message, which said: “He can’t stop you. I will call the police if he harms you or the baby.”
Miss Osborne asked: “Why did you say that?”
Mrs Jeremy replied: “Because of the things she was saying.”
Adam Vaitilingam, for Jeremy, suggested the reason Mrs Jeremy did not want her grandson to be at Clark’s house was that he owned a dog.
“You worried about dogs and children for a long time and you were concerned about Sean being in James’s house, James had a dog,” he said.
“That’s what you told the police in February 2018 when you made your statement?”
Mrs Jeremy replied: “Yes.” Mr Vaitilingam referred to Mrs Jeremy’s police statement in which
she was asked about the text message exchange with her daughter as to whether Sean had been hurt.
Mrs Jeremy told police: “I can’t really explain why I used this phrase. What I think I mean by this is could there have been an accident.
“For example, putting him in his bouncer and putting his arms in the straps. He could have got hurt that way.
“I was trying to think of reasons why he was crying so much and didn’t want to be picked up, why he was hurting that way.
“I think James loves Sean and he wouldn’t do anything to him. He wanted to do things to help Helen and I don’t think James would hurt baby Sean.”
The court heard that both defendants deny inflicting the fatal injuries, with the prosecution alleging the “bulk of the evidence” points to Clark being responsible.
Clark, of Neads Drive, Warmley, and Jeremy, of Russell Avenue, Kingswood, both deny charges of murder and causing or allowing the death of a child.
The trial continues.