A mom denies Googling “how to kill a baby” just before taking her lifeless newborn to a hospital.
Shauna Donnelly, 26, took her son Ellis to James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough on October 4, 2019.
Hospital staff pronounced the Eston resident’s baby dead after he arrived wrapped in a robe and feeling ‘icy’.
An autopsy proved inconclusive, and Donnelly was later charged with her son’s murder.
Donnelly was acquitted of her son’s murder by Teesside Crown Court in February after prosecutors failed to provide evidence.
Donnelly returned to court yesterday for Ellis’ inquest and said she was “coming for answers” and accused witnesses and medical staff of lying.
The inquest heard how, after Ellis’s death, investigators discovered Donnelly had searched her phone: “how to kill a baby naturally,” “how to kill a fetus,” “36 weeks pregnant and don’t want anything to do with the baby.” have to do’.
Another search included how to use bee pollen to induce miscarriage – bee pollen was found in the bedroom of the Middlesbrough Football Club steward.
Donnelly denied conducting the search, claiming that the children she had been babysitting must have done the same.
While bee pollen, she said, was for her hay fever.
On many of the questions, Donnelly flatly rejected evidence or claimed she couldn’t remember the details of her son’s death.
She told senior coroner Clare Bailey: “He was born three years ago, I don’t know every detail.”
Bailey said, “So all the evidence we have is lies, including from medical professionals?” and Donnelly replied, “Yes.”
Defense-ordered medical reports from five expert witnesses said Donnelly’s son was likely born in a compromised condition.
He had suffered a hypoxic injury, in which head trauma restricts oxygen flow to the brain, caused by a significant placental abruption.
Experts said if Ellis had been born alive, he probably would have been so unwell that Donnelly thought he was stillborn.
Donnelly claimed she had no idea she was pregnant until the delivery. Although she booked an abortion, she failed to show up and was in a relationship with a midwife.
She said she gave birth in her bedroom on October 3, with only her mother helping her before passing out until morning to find her son lifeless.
Donnelly then dumped the placenta in a bin at the Eston Hotel and took a bus to the hospital.
Her father described Donnelly as a “loner” who is still haunted by the bullying she faced at school.
“We confronted her and she denied it. She said I was rude and she was on the wrong diet. She had never lied to us before,” Donnelly’s father was heard to say.
“I had no inclination that she was pregnant. The first time I was aware of it was when I got home and the police were at my door.’
When she was acquitted earlier this year, Donnelly said she was the target of online abuse.
“I knew I hadn’t done anything wrong, but no one seemed to believe me,” she said, “I really thought I was going to spend the rest of my life in prison.”
The inquest is hearing medical evidence today.
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