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Last Updated: Monday, 1 November, 2004, 19:54 GMT
Child witness 'saw baby killed'
Scales of justice
Margaret Smith denies murdering her baby son Keith
A woman has appeared in court charged with the murder of her four-month old son a decade ago.

Margaret Smith has denied killing baby Keith in his cot at her home in St John's Grove, Hull, in September 1994.

A child witness claims to have seen Mrs Smith holding a pillow to the baby's face on the night he died.

But Mrs Smith says she was feeding the youngster and did not harm him. She denies the murder charge. The case continues at Newcastle Crown Court.

Young witness

Andrew Campell QC, prosecuting, said the exact cause of death was a mystery, despite post mortem tests.

He said it had been assumed the child's death had been a cot death.

But in April 2000, a child who happened to be staying at Mrs Smith's home on the night the baby died, came forward to police, the jury was told.

The witness told officers that before the baby died, Mrs Smith ignored his cries and then slapped him.

Don't tell me how to look after a baby
Alleged remark by Margaret Smith
The jury heard the youngster say she later saw Smith put a pillow over the toddler's head and challenged her about what was happening.

Margaret Smith is alleged to have said: "Don't tell me how to look after a baby".

The next day police were called to the house and it later emerged "inconsistent accounts" were given about where the baby had been sleeping.

When Mrs Smith was arrested in 2001 she told police the young witness was "evil" and claimed the youngster was "not an honest person".

She denied having killed the baby or having anything to do with his death.


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