Killer driver’s five-year sentence ‘outrageous and unjust’

Shaun Gatti had been drinking at a nightclub before he knocked down 15-year-old Robyn Fryar.

STV News

By Jenness Mitchell & Louise Scott

The family of a schoolgirl who was mowed down and left dying on the road has branded the killer driver’s five-year jail sentence as ‘outrageous and unjust’.

Shaun Gatti, 21, had been drinking at a nightclub in Paisley before he knocked down 15-year-old Robyn Fryar in the Renfrewshire town on July 7, 2019.

The teenager, who was struck as she crossed a road with friends around 2am, died hours later from her injuries.

ADVERT

Gatti fled the scene with a friend in his Volkswagen Golf and attempted to cover up his involvement by cleaning his car, hiding it under tarpaulin and removing its registration plates.

However, he was soon snared after an anonymous tip-off to police.

At the High Court in Glasgow on Wednesday, Gatti was sentenced to five years and three months in prison.

Robyn’s parents, Iain Fryar and Cheryl Madden, told STV News they did not feel justice had been served.

ADVERT

Ms Madden said: “That’s outrageous, absolutely outrageous.

“I’m going to appeal against that sentence because I don’t think that was just.”

Mr Fryar said he did not expect the sentence to be “so short”.

He added: “A judge decides to give him a few years in prison. If that’s justice, I don’t know what justice is.

“It’s like Robyn was insignificant and meant nothing.

“He can now go on and know he’s going to be out. We have got to live in this hell for the rest of our lives.

“We can only visit our daughter at the cemetery. I know he’s incarcerated, but he’s still got a life to look forward to. My daughter never got a life to look forward to.”

ADVERT

Gatti was also banned from the roads for 11 years and seven months after admitting causing the teenager’s death by dangerous driving.

He also pleaded guilty to attempting to pervert the course of justice.

Club: Shaun Gatti was drinking before the fatal incident.

Gatti, who had been captured on CCTV drinking a cocktail out of a fish bowl at Paisley’s Vienna nightclub before the fatal incident, was traced too late by police to have a drink-driving sample taken.

However, police estimated he was driving at up to 47mph in a 30mph zone at the time of the incident. He was also on the wrong side of the road.

Ms Madden said: “She would never have survived what happened to her. Her injuries were so severe.”

Lord Mulholland told Gatti during his sentencing he had “delivered the most acute grief” and a “life sentence” to Robyn’s family.

Mr Fryar said his “heart left” him when he was told the police were coming to pick him up following the incident.

He said: “You always think that these things happen to other people. You don’t ever expect you to get that phone call.”

Robyn, who was supposed to be staying at a friend’s house that night, was described as “intelligent and brilliant at school”.

Mr Fryar added: “She was everybody’s friend, and she loved life.

“From being an IVF baby she was very special, and she knew it.

“She loved everything to do with life.”

Responding to Mr Fryar and Ms Madden’s call to appeal Gatti’s sentence, a spokesperson from the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service said: “As with all cases, the Crown will consider the sentence and give consideration to whether it might be unduly lenient.”


Cameron House fire: FAI to be held into death of couple

Richard Dyson, 32, and Simon Midgley, 38, died after a blaze ripped through the five-star Loch Lomond resort in December 2017.

STV News

A Fatal Accident Inquiry will be held into the deaths of two men following a fatal fire at Cameron House Hotel.

Richard Dyson, 32, and Simon Midgley, 38, died after a blaze ripped through the five-star Loch Lomond resort in December 2017.

The fire was started after ashes were left in a cupboard by a staff member and more than 200 guests had to be evacuated from the building.

Earlier this year, the hotel’s owner was fined £500,000 and Christopher O’Malley, a night porter who admitted breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act, was given a community payback order.

ADVERT

In April, the Crown Office announced that an FAI would not go ahead, stating it was “satisfied that the reasons for this tragedy have been established”.

However following an appeal from Jane Midgley – the mother of Mr Midgley who was killed alongside his partner – the Crown reviewed this decision and now say a FAI will go ahead.

A spokesperson for the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service said: “This was a devastating fire which caused two deaths and put the lives of many others at risk. 

STV News
Blaze: The hotel was severely damaged.

“During two prosecutions, information on the causes and circumstances of the deaths of Mr Midgley and Mr Dyson were presented in court.

ADVERT

“Meaningful changes have been made and lessons have been learned from the events.

“Nonetheless, a review by independent Crown Counsel with no previous involvement in this case has concluded that there are wider public interest issues around the safety of guests and building fire safety which ought to feature in a Fatal Accident Inquiry.

“The Procurator Fiscal has now started work to initiate this inquiry and there are a number of legal steps which must be taken before it can commence.

“The detailed work carried out in the preparation of the prosecutions will be invaluable in this process.

“The families will be kept informed of what will happen next.”

Earlier this year Mrs Midgley told STV News she was determined to appeal a decision not to hold a fatal accident inquiry into the fatal blaze.

She said: “I’m never going to get justice, but if we can save someone else’s life by having this fatal accident inquiry I’ll feel like I’ve done something.

ADVERT

“I’ve got to do something for the boys, I can’t just put a full stop and end it.

“I look at his photograph every day and I say ‘Simon, I’m going to fight for you’.

“(I’m determined) more than ever because I know if Simon was here, he would be saying ‘mum, you’ve got to fight, you’ve got to stop this happening again’.

“This (fire) could have been stopped and it wasn’t, they (Cameron House) just carried on and carried on and I don’t just want recommendations – not many people go on recommendations.

“Things have got to be put in law and businesses have got to realise they can’t get away with it through having other things to do.”


Boy’s plea to First Minister for brother’s medical cannabis

Scotland's first medical cannabis clinic was approved by regulators earlier this year.

STV News

A 13-year-old boy has written to Nicola Sturgeon in a plea for funding to help support his younger brother who suffers from severe epilepsy.

In a letter, Dean Gray made a personal plea to the First Minister to help secure an NHS prescription for medical cannabis which helps to keep his eight-year-old brother Murray safe.

Murray, who used to suffer hundreds of different seizures a day, has been seizure free for over two years since starting medical cannabis.

The drug was legalised for medical use in the UK in November 2018, allowing doctors to prescribe it in certain situations.

ADVERT

However, concerns have been raised over the low number of NHS prescriptions for medical cannabis that have been approved, with families having to pay privately for the medicine at a cost of up to £2000 per month.

Dean, who will stand outside of the First Minister’s Bute House residence on Wednesday morning, said that he does not think it is fair that his parents should have to pay for the costs of the medicine.

He wrote: “Dear First Minister, My name is Dean Gray. I am 13 years old and I live in Edinburgh. I am writing to you about my little brother Murray. He is eight years old. He used to have really bad seizures.

I hardly spent any time with my mum two years ago as she was always in hospital with my little brother. This took a toll on me personally as I didn’t fully understand what was going on and felt anxious for my brother.

ADVERT

“He has not had a seizure now in two years because my mum got him cannabis oils. This means I get to spend more time with my mum and my brother, which I love to do.

The letter sent by Dean Gray to First Minister Nicola Sturgeon (Dean Gray/End Our Pain Campaign)

“She is having to pay £1300 every month for this medicine. I don’t think it’s fair that my mum and dad have to pay this. Please can you do something to help us. Thank you, Dean Gray.”

The letter from Dean coincides with the three year anniversary of the decision in June 2018 when then UK home secretary Sajid Javid granted Alfie Dingley the first individual long term licence to use medical cannabis in the UK.

In marking the occasion, Alfie’s mother Hannah has also written to Prime Minister Boris Johnson urging him to intervene.

Peter Carroll, director of End Our Pain, said: “This situation is bizarre and cruel. The UK Government legalised a medicine, but hardly anyone can it.

“Surely it can’t be beyond the wit and capability of one of the largest health services in the world to sort this out.

“The families denied NHS prescriptions are being forced to fund raise to be able to pay privately. This added worry and pressure has pushed these families to breaking point emotionally and financially.

ADVERT

“We fully support Dean’s direct appeal to the First Minister. We urge her to intervene.”

A Scottish Government spokesman said: “We have enormous sympathy for Murray Gray, his brother Dean and all of the family and we appreciate the very difficult situation any family will face in these circumstances. 

“We will reply privately to the letter once received.   

“However, the decision on whether to prescribe any medicine for a patient, and which medicine to prescribe, is entirely one for clinicians to make – it would be inappropriate for Scottish Ministers to make or influence prescribing decisions. 

“Any NHS prescription that is made in line with the regulations on the use of medicinal cannabis prescribing, as set by the UK Government, will be fulfilled by the NHS.


Murder trial told gym owner was fatally shot outside home

Neil Anderson, 45, is accused of acting with others in murdering Gary More at his home in Airdrie in September 2018.

Facebook via Facebook
Court: Neil Anderson has been accused of acting with others in murdering Gary More.

A gym owner was fatally shot outside his home, a court heard on Wednesday. 

Neil Anderson, 45, is accused of acting with others in murdering Gary More at his home in Airdrie, North Lanarkshire, on September 6, 2018.

Prosecutors state Anderson acted with others and induced Mr More to come out his property then repeatedly discharged a firearm at him.

It is alleged Mr More was repeatedly shot on the head and body and was murdered by Anderson.

ADVERT

The charge states that Anderson had previous malice and ill will towards Mr More.

Anderson denies the charge is on trial at the High Court in Glasgow.

He and David Anderson, 37, are also accused of behaving in a threatening or abusive manner towards Mr More by attending his home, threatening him and demanding money.

Detective sergeant Douglas Mogg, 51, told jurors in evidence that he prepared a CCTV report from footage after an inquiry into the death.

ADVERT

Jurors watched footage of a man alleged to be Anderson speaking to Mr More outside his property before a white Skoda car pulled up beside them.

Prosecutor Liam Ewing QC asked DS Mogg what he then saw.

The officer replied: “A man exited the passenger side of the car with his arm straight out in the direction of where Mr More was.”

Mr Ewing then asked DS Mogg if he saw a gun, and he replied: “I can make out an item that appears to be a gun.

“The shooter approached the door of the car which was held open while a man runs out of view from the bottom of the camera.”

Mr Ewing asked DS Mogg: “Mr More was fatally shot outside his house and police centred on a white Skoda Fabia?”

DS Mogg replied: “Yes.”

ADVERT

Mr Ewing then asked: “That car was found some distance away towards Milngavie burned out?” 

DS Mogg answered: “Yes.”

The officer earlier told jurors Mr More owned a gym in the extension at the rear of his home which he used as a “commercial premises”.

The Andersons also face a separate allegation of being concerned in the supply of drugs between March and September 2018.

The offence is said to be aggravated by a connection to organised crime.

The trial continues before judge Lord Mulholland.


Boy born prematurely meets paramedics who saved his life

Finlay spent 11 weeks in hospital in Glasgow and weighed less than a bag of sugar.

Scottish Ambulance Service via PA Ready
Paramedics used just two fingers to compress his chest because of how delicate and fragile he was.

A boy born weighing less than a bag of sugar has been reunited with three paramedics who saved his life.

Finlay MacKenzie was born at 26 weeks in March last year at just 1lb 13oz (0.8kg) and needed CPR from ambulance staff.

They used just two fingers to compress his chest because of how delicate and fragile he was, the Scottish Ambulance Service said.

The infant, of Glasgow, spent 11 weeks in hospital but is now 15 months and weighs a healthy 10kg.

ADVERT

At Glasgow East Ambulance Station on Tuesday, Finlay, his mother Gemma Maxwell, 29, and father Niall MacKenzie, 30, met ambulance staff Nikki Wilson, Harry Trodden and Sheila Parr.

Gemma said: “He’s just doing amazing now. He’s just such a character and you would never know the rocky start he has had in life.

“We had to do this. They saved him – this is healing for me.

“What do you say to the people who saved your baby’s life? To just see them, and thank them, is huge. You can tell it’s not just a job for them, it’s their life.”

ADVERT

Niall added: “I was on a different planet, didn’t know what was going on.

“We were quite positive throughout the whole thing, we always said we had this feeling that everything was going to be okay.

“If it wasn’t for the crew, he wouldn’t have made it. They are all amazing.”

Paramedic, Harry, said he used just two fingers to compress the chest of Finlay due to his small size.

He said: “I was giving him oxygen with a bag and even the smallest mask we had was too big.

“I had to be gentle with the CPR and not go too deep. At 26 weeks the lungs are not fully developed, so I had to be careful.”

Sheila Parr added: “I have been a paramedic for 20 years and this is one of the most memorable cases.

ADVERT

“He is happy and delightful, a real joy.”


Four deaths caused by adverse effects of Covid vaccine

The latest figures also show 10,137 people have died in Scotland with confirmed or suspected coronavirus.

Pornpak Khunatorn via IStock
Four people in Scotland have died due to adverse effects of coronavirus vaccines.

Four people in Scotland have died due to adverse effects of coronavirus vaccines, according to the latest official data.

A report from National Records of Scotland (NRS) said that by the end of May there had been four deaths where the “underlying cause of death was adverse effects of Covid-19 vaccines”.

NRS said the deaths are in the context of 3.27 million people who had been given at least one vaccine dose by May 31, according to statistics from Public Health Scotland.

The latest figures also show 10,137 people have died in Scotland with confirmed or suspected coronavirus.

ADVERT

Seven fatalities which mentioned Covid-19 on the death certificate were registered in the week to June 13, one fewer than the previous week.

Of the deaths in the week to June 13, five were people aged 75 or older, while the remaining two were between 65 and 74.

The statistics are published weekly and cover all deaths registered in Scotland where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate.

They differ from the lab-confirmed coronavirus deaths announced daily by the Scottish Government because the NRS figures include suspected or probable cases of Covid-19.

ADVERT

Scotland has recorded one coronavirus death and 1129 new cases in the past 24 hours, according to the latest daily figures published by the Scottish Government on Wednesday.

It brings the death toll under this measure, of people who first tested positive for the virus within the previous 28 days, to 7684.

The daily test positivity rate was 3.4%, down from 5% the previous day.

There were 133 people in hospital on Tuesday with recently confirmed Covid-19, down from 137 on Monday.

Fifteen people were in intensive care, down from 17 the previous day.

The NRS report also said that Scotland’s Covid-19 death rate fell close to its lowest level in May.

Accounting for age and population structure, six in every 100,000 people died from Covid in May, while the lowest monthly rate was four per 100,000 in August 2020.

ADVERT

The figures show those living in the most deprived areas are more likely to die with Covid than those in the least deprived places.

Pete Whitehouse, NRS director of statistical services, said: “The latest figures show that last week there were seven deaths where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate.

“After adjusting for age, people living in the most deprived areas were 2.4 times as likely to die with Covid as those in least deprived areas.

“The size of this gap has slowly widened from 2.1 to 2.4 over the course of the pandemic.”

Over the period of the pandemic from March 2020 to May 2021, 186 males per 100,000 people died with Covid-19 mentioned on their death certificates, compared with 128 females.

Of the deaths with Covid over that period, 93% of those who died had at least one pre-existing condition, the most common of which was dementia/Alzheimer’s disease.

From March 2020 to May 2021, there were 12 deaths where post-Covid conditions, including long Covid, were mentioned on the death certificate.

In the week to June 13 there were two deaths in South Lanarkshire and one each in Aberdeen, Edinburgh, East Dunbartonshire, Glasgow and North Ayrshire.

A total of 3,551,739 people have received their first dose of a Covid vaccine and 2,493,358 have had their second.


Couple rescue Siberian husky from Chinese meat trade

Deena is now settled into her new Fife home with Christine and Steven Arnott after travelling from Beijing.

SWNS via SWNS
Deena is now settled into her new home in Crossgate.

A couple from Fife spent nearly £4000 rescuing a Siberian husky from the Chinese meat trade.

Deena, aged 16 months, is now settled into her new home in Crossgate after travelling from Beijing to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, then to London, Manchester, Bolton and finally Scotland.

Devoted owners Christine and Steve Arnott are delighted with their new pet after five months of longing for her as they shelled out around £3700 on the pooch.

Christine, 49, was planning to spend her work bonus on a new kitchen – but fell for Deena instead after spotting her on an animal welfare charity website, the Great Bulls of China.

ADVERT

She and Steve, 52, were struck by the pup’s “intense” facial expression, and knew they wanted to give her a better life with their three Alaskan Malamutes and three German Shepherds.

Deena was found aged three months on the streets of Changchun, Jilin Province, with a broken back leg – feared to have been from jumping off a meat truck.

From November the couple began paying £135 a month sponsorship, and were finally able to start buying doggie treats, beds and blankets as the big day neared.

Health and safety officer Christine said: “She was so beautiful and had such an intense expression on her face, yet was unsponsored.

SWNS via SWNS
The couple found Deena on an animal welfare charity website.
ADVERT

“We hadn’t planned on getting another dog, but we felt like she needed a home when we saw her picture.

“We did some research and found out she had been found in a street in Changchun, with a broken back leg after escaping a meat truck.

“We started paying £135 per month on her kennel and food fees and started trying to arrange to get her home.

“There were five or six attempts to get her onto a plane, but with the pandemic the cost of flights was astronomical.

“The charity was sending pictures and videos during these months, it just made us more desperate to get her.

“I got a bonus at work which we initially meant to spend on a new kitchen, but we just knew this was more important.

“We thought one weekend she had made it onto a flight, only to get told she got refused as they had overloaded the plane. We were gutted.

ADVERT

“We were just mind blown when we got told she was on her way.

“We went out and bought blankets and treats, and all different brands of food as we didn’t know what she would like.

“We just couldn’t wait to hold her.”

Christine went down to Bolton on April 18 to pick up her arrival. She said: “When the guy opened the back of the pet transfer van in Bolton, it’s safe to say I was in floods of tears.

“It was just amazing to see her and hold her after five months of pictures and videos.

“I drove her back home, and we did the introductions with the other dogs outside the house one by one.

“She was a little bit reserved at first but seemed interested, and very curious.

“It’s been a couple of weeks now, and she gets on fabulous with the other dogs and has settled in great.

“There are certain things she doesn’t quite get yet, like realising her meals are regular.

“Sometimes we just sit and look at her and think of the horror that could have happened.

“To just think of all the thousands of miles she traveled, all the pain she had been in, all the different people that touched her, it breaks my heart.

“If a human had gone through half of what Deena’s been through they would need years of therapy.

“The Great Bulls of China were fantastic in all this.

“They still have many dogs that need to be sponsored, and I hope they get it.”


Minister to meet campaigners on forced adoption apology

Clare Haughey said she was 'deeply saddened that in the past' some mothers had felt 'forced to give their children up'.

PA Media via PA Media
Her comments came after Labour’s Monica Lennon raised the issue in Holyrood, urging ministers to “find the compassion and the courage to do the right thing”.

Scotland’s new children’s minister has said she will meet with campaigners calling for the Government to apologise to women who were forced to give up their babies for adoption.

Clare Haughey said she was “deeply saddened that in the past” some mothers had felt “forced to give their children up”.

With campaigners calling on the Government to follow on from the example of countries such as Australia, Canada and Ireland, and apologise for the state’s role in this, Haughey said she would meet members of the Movement for an Adoption Apology next week.

She added that she was also “working to establish meetings with others affected by these historical practices”.

ADVERT

The minister said: “It is right that we look at this issue properly and, for me, that means listening to the voices of women, children and wider families whose lives have been profoundly changed by the experience. By doing that, we can work in partnership on next steps.”

Her comments came after Labour’s Monica Lennon raised the issue in Holyrood, urging ministers to “find the compassion and the courage to do the right thing”.

She pleaded with the Government to “deliver this long overdue apology and finally given the women, and all the families affected, the recognition and support that they deserve”.

In her speech at Holyrood, Lennon read out a statement from Marion McMillan, whose son was taken from her back in 1967.

ADVERT

Despite being terminally-ill, McMillan is campaigning for an apology for those affected by forced adoption and she said Scotland could “lead the way in the UK” by doing so.

McMillan said: “Those simple three words ‘we are sorry’ seem to have been the hardest of all and we cannot understand why.”

She stated: “I sincerely hope Scotland will finally take the opportunity to make an official apology to the 60,000 vulnerable mothers who had their babies taken from them simply because they were not married.

“What happened to all of us was a dreadful abuse of our human rights and set in motion lifelong pain and psychological damage to the women and the children.

“Mothers spend their lifetime searching for the babies they were forced to hand over. I remember crying and telling the authorities that my baby already had a mummy, but they simply took my son from my arms and left me weeping.”


Scotland fans urged not to travel to London for England match

Fans have been asked not to travel to the city unless they have a ticket for the match or a safe place to watch the game.

AndreyKrav via IStock
Euro 2020: Fans urged not to travel to London.

Football fans have been urged not to travel to London for Scotland’s Euro 2020 clash with England unless they have a ticket or a safe place to watch the game.

The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has joined forces with sports minister Nigel Huddleston and the Scottish Government to urge fans to exercise caution in a bid to avoid a spike in Covid cases.

It comes as cases of the Delta variant first identified in India continue to rise.

Scotland fans will not be able to access the traditional meeting spot of Trafalger Square as it is being used as a ticketed fan zone for key workers, with the screen not visible to anyone without access. 

ADVERT

Capacity will also be limited at pubs and bars, as they will only be able to serve customers seated and at tables. 

Fans have also been reminded that police will act against any antisocial and disorderly behaviour in London.

Sadiq Khan said: “It is absolutely fantastic that Scotland are playing in their first international tournament for 23 years – and I cannot wait for Friday’s match.

“Scottish fans are renowned around the world for bringing a party atmosphere with them to the big tournaments but with Covid restrictions still in place on both sides of the border, the best thing for fans without tickets to the game or a safe place to watch it is to enjoy the game from Scotland and not come to London.

ADVERT

“In an ideal world I would welcome the Tartan Army to London for this match with open arms – but with Covid cases increasing, and with so much at stake as we fight this awful virus, I’m afraid that it just cannot be this time, so the best thing to do is not to come to London and instead enjoy the game at home .”

Scottish culture minister Jenny Gilruth said: “I know for many of us Euro 2020 will be one of the highlights of the summer and an opportunity to support our national team. 

“There will also be huge interest in the Scotland v England game at Wembley, but we must continue to be cautious – and I strongly urge fans to only travel if you have a ticket or a safe place to watch the match from.

“Although we have made great progress, we all still have an important part to play in making sure we keep the virus under control. So I urge all football fans to plan in advance how you are going to safely enjoy the tournament.”

Sports minister Nigel Huddleston said: “There is a real sense of excitement building for Friday’s game between Scotland and England. It’s going to be a historic moment for both teams, the fans lucky enough to be at Wembley Stadium and fans watching across the country.

“But we continue to advise fans without tickets to enjoy the match close to home and not travel to London unless you have somewhere already finalised to watch the game safely.” 

Government rules mean just over 20,000 fans will be allowed in Wembley Stadium and less than 1000 in the Trafalgar Square fan zone. 

ADVERT

Any fans travelling are advised to follow travel guidance in their region and adhere to the wider guidance around social distancing at all times. 

Testing is required before travel for those attending the match and those without tickets are encouraged to utilise free rapid testing.


Father who killed seven-week-old son jailed for 12 years

Brian Penn, 30, carried out the fatal attack on Kaleb Penn at his home in Ayr on November 1, 2017.

Court: Brian Penn was convicted of killing his son.

A dad who killed his seven-week-old baby boy has been jailed for 12 years. 

Brian Penn, 30, carried out the fatal attack on Kaleb Penn at his home in Ayr, South Ayrshire, on November 1, 2017.

He had tried to pin the blame on the boy’s mum, but it was Penn who violently shook Kaleb and inflicted an unknown blunt force trauma on him.

The stricken child was found to have suffered a skull fracture, a bleed to the brain, a serious brain injury and fractured ribs.

ADVERT

Penn initially claimed to medics the boy had suffered a “choking episode” but he died two days later in hospital.

Penn was found guilty at the High Court in Glasgow of culpable homicide and a separate charge of assault to Kaleb’s severe injury and danger of life.

He had originally been charged with murder and a further allegation of attempted murder.

Judge Lord Weir told Penn at Wednesday’s sentencing that he inflicted wounds on a “vulnerable baby lost forever to his family forever”.

ADVERT

The judge added: “When Kaleb was born he could have expected without realising it the loving parental care and nurture so vital to such helpless infants.

“The jury were satisfied that you inflicted blunt force trauma injuries to his head and body to sufficient seriousness fractures appeared on an x-ray.

“The physical assaults you carried out were the antithesis for the care Kaleb looked to you for and his life was tragically cut short.”

Kaleb’s mum, Kelly-Ann Cope, 31, told jurors in evidence Penn woke her up on the morning of his death asking her to phone 999.

Ms Cope said: “He said the wean wasn’t breathing. I was in bed and Kaleb was in his arms at the bedroom door.”

Prosecutor Erin Campbell asked how Kaleb was, and she replied: “I put my hand on his heart and it was still beating but I couldn’t understand why he wasn’t breathing.

“His eyes were rolling to the back of his head.”

ADVERT

Ms Cope said she could not watch as mercy crews tended to Kaleb and rushed him to hospital.

It was put to Ms Cope that she knew about Kaleb choking on prune juice as she said it during the 999 call.

Ms Cope was asked how she knew, and she replied: “Brian came in and I asked what happened and he said Kaleb choked on prune juice but I didn’t know more about it.”

She later added: “He said he patted his back and said he stiffened up, his body went flimsy then realised he wasn’t breathing.”

Ms Cope said she was beside Penn when he told medical staff that he dropped Kaleb on a changing mat weeks before.

It was also put to the mum that she told police in a statement that Kaleb had a bump on the back of his head.

Ms Cope said she had not known him to hit his head.

Ms Campbell asked: “Did you forget or deliberately not tell them?”

Ms Cope responded: “I did forget as my head was discombobulated as my thoughts were to see my son.”

Ms Cope denied causing Kaleb’s injuries, stating: “I wouldn’t harm anyone, I couldn’t kill a spider.”

Nurse Carol McNeill earlier told jurors that she spoke to Penn after Kaleb arrived at the hospital.

Mrs McNeill stated: “He said that he had been feeding the baby and there had been a choking episode. 

“He (Kaleb) had vomited, but that it was not vomit.”

Consultant neuropathologist professor Colin Smith, 53, who examined Kaleb’s brain after his death, gave evidence at the trial.

He said: “[Kaleb’s injuries] are only seen in a setting of severe trauma, this is either a fall from a height or road traffic incident.”

Prof Smith also claimed there was evidence of previous bleeding to the brain dated seven to ten days before Kaleb’s death.

He was then asked: “We may hear evidence that three weeks before his death, he may have been dropped from about 12 inches to the ground.

“Was a fall like that likely to have caused the injuries to the brain?”

Prof Smith replied: “It is possible.”

Ms Campbell asked: “Would it be clear the level of brain injury you identified in this case would have led Kaleb to be unresponsive?”

Prof Smith replied: “That’s my opinion.”

Penn, represented by QC Brian McConnachie, did not give evidence during the trial, but had lodged an incrimination claiming Ms Cope was responsible.

Mr McConnachie told the court Penn made admissions to a social worker that he may have hit Kaleb’s head on a door in “a panic”.

The advocate added: “The injury Kaleb suffered would have to have been suffered before that for Mr Penn to have been in a panic at that stage.”


You're up to date

You've read today's top stories. Where would you like to go next?