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Last Updated: Friday, 23 May, 2003, 16:30 GMT 17:30 UK
Babies taken to 'brink of death'
Trupti Patel
Mrs Patel denies the three murder charges
A mother charged with murdering three of her babies was accused in court of taking her children "to the brink that divides life and death".

Trupti Patel, 35, replied "no" each time when asked by prosecuting counsel Paul Dunkels QC if she had killed her two sons, Amar and Jamie, or her daughter, Mia.

Mrs Patel, of Maidenhead, Berkshire, also denied that the deaths of her children were tragedies "brought about by her own actions".

Mrs Patel's three children were less than three months old when they died between 1997 and 2001.

Mr Dunkels asked her: "On the 10 December, 1997, you stopped Amar from breathing and took him to the brink that divides life and death."

You were trying to bring back their lives from a position you had created with your own hands.
Paul Dunkels QC, prosecutor
"No, I did not," replied Mrs Patel.

"On the 5 July, 1999, before you came downstairs you stopped Jamie breathing and took him to the brink, didn't you?" asked Mr Dunkels.

"No," replied Mrs Patel again.

"On the 3 June, 2001, in your bedroom with Mia you pressed down on her chest, probably as she lay in her crib, and stopped her breathing, squeezing the life out of her," said Mr Dunkels.

Mother's tears

"No," replied Mrs Patel again.

"You were trying to bring back their lives from a position you had created with your own hands," said Mr Dunkels.

"No," replied Mrs Patel again.

Mrs Patel then began crying as she described the toys attached to Mia's crib.

Her husband, Jayant, 35, a business analyst for British Telecom, became emotional in the dock after describing how his wife had called him at work on the morning of 10 December 1997 when she found Amar in his cot not breathing.

He said he arrived at the hospital just as the doctors had stopped their attempts to resuscitate the child.

Mr Patel said his wife was "devastated" about what had happened and said that in the weeks after Amar's death neighbours had heard her crying at home while he was at work.

'Totally floppy'

He said how after the birth of their second son, Jamie, in 1999, it was "scary" because they feared a sudden infant death could occur again.

He described his wife as a "loving and caring mother" who wanted to do as much as possible with her son.

The court heard how he returned from work one lunchtime to find Jamie in his cot "totally floppy".

"I just realised it had happened again," he said.

"I panicked and I took him to Trupti, I did not know what to do."

Mr Patel said his wife tried to resuscitate Jamie while they waited for an ambulance to arrive.

The hearing was adjourned until Wednesday.

The trial continues.




WATCH AND LISTEN
The BBC's Duncan Kennedy
"For most of her evidence, Trupti Patel remained calm and controlled"



SEE ALSO:
Mother denies killing children
22 May 03  |  Berkshire
Accused mother 'welcomed inquiry'
07 May 03  |  Berkshire
Accused mother wanted attention
06 May 03  |  Berkshire
'Murdered baby's tests normal'
02 May 03  |  Berkshire
Accused mother 'not caring'
01 May 03  |  Berkshire
Accused mother sobs at 999 tape
30 Apr 03  |  Berkshire


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