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Tuesday, 12 March, 2002, 18:19 GMT
Mother denies murdering her sons
Angela Cannings
Mrs Cannings and her husband are "still together"
A mother accused of murdering her two babies has denied causing them harm and says she still has the support of her husband.

In response to questions at Winchester Crown Court, Angela Cannings, 38, denied ever harming any of her children.

The shop worker from Salisbury, Wiltshire has pleaded not guilty to the murders of seven-week-old Jason in 1991 and 18-week-old Matthew.

Mrs Cannings's first born child Jemma died aged 13 weeks in 1989 but she faces no charges relating to this death.

Husband's support

Junior defence counsel Jo Briggs, asked: "Have you ever caused any of your children deliberate harm?"

Mrs Cannings replied: "No."

Mrs Cannings was then asked about her relationship with her husband Terry.

Mrs Cannings replied: "Throughout all of this it has been a struggle and we are still married and still together as we can be and he supports me."

Earlier the jury heard that both Jason and Matthew had suffered what the prosecution term an Acute Life Threatening Event (ALTE) nine days before they died.

Cot death

The prosecution alleged that Mrs Cannings smothered them while they slept in their cots.

The jury has heard from three medical experts who conducted post-mortem examinations or examined medical notes and the Cannings family history.

They allege that both Matthew and Jason suffered an upper airways obstruction when they died and this had been caused by a deliberate smothering.

It is alleged that Mrs Cannings was alone with both boys when they died.

The defence has told the jury they will bring expert medical evidence to show that there could be genetic and environmental reasons why babies died from sudden infant death syndrome or cot death.

The trial continues.

Click here to go to BBC Wiltshire
See also:

04 Mar 02 | England
Baby deaths trial adjourned
28 Feb 02 | England
Expert view in baby deaths trial
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