Page last updated at 18:09 GMT, Thursday, 19 February 2009

Mother 'worked as a prostitute'

Brandon Muir
Brandon Muir died in Dundee on 16 March last year

A mother accused of killing her 23-month-old son was working as a prostitute in Dundee in the hours before he died, a court has heard.

The jury at the High Court in Glasgow has been shown a DVD of Heather Boyd, 23, being questioned by officers following the death of Brandon Muir.

It was said that Ms Boyd admitted to police that she "had gone on the game to pay for smack" last March.

Ms Boyd denies culpable homicide. Robert Cunningham, 23, denies murder.

The trial was also told of a statement made by a friend of Ms Boyd - Kelly Marie Parkin, who was a street worker who has since died.

In the statement, Miss Parkin said: "She was doing the same as me, she needed money. Both her and Robert had habits."

She then claimed that she and Boyd were picked up by a "punter" before being driven to the countryside outside Dundee.

Miss Parkin added: "Both me and Heather had sex with him."

Earlier, the trial heard Ms Boyd claim in the police interview that Brandon was a "clumsy" child, who often "fell or tripped."

I never touched him that day
Heather Boyd

She described Mr Cunningham, who she had started dating a few months earlier, as "caring" and said that he was "good" with Brandon.

Ms Boyd said that on 15 March, the day Brandon fell ill, her son was "pale" in the morning and later she found him standing at a wall crying.

She broke down as Det Con Paul Romanowski questioned her about the incident.

The detective asked: "What has happened to your wee boy, who has hurt him?"

She replied: "I never touched him that day."

He went on: "If it was not you, that's fine. If you know what happened..."

Boyd said: "I don't know."

Heather Boyd
Heather Boyd told police she would do 'anything' for her children

Ms Boyd said that she once found "strange" bruises near Brandon's hips, but could not state when.

During an angry exchange, Det Con Romanowski said: "If I am annoying, that's too bad, but your son is dead.

"We don't know what happened and we need to see if there is anything that can help us. Are you wanting to know how Brandon died?"

She replied: "Yes, he was my wee boy."

She later told police that she left Brandon, even though he was sick, to meet a prostitute friend to buy heroin.

Det Con Romanowski asked: "Are you a good mum?"

Ms Boyd replied: "Yes, I would do anything for the kids."


Mr Cunningham is accused of murder by assaulting Brandon so severely on 15 March last year at two flats in Balunie Crescent that he died the following day in hospital.

Mr Cunningham and Ms Boyd also face a charge of repeatedly and wilfully ill-treating Brandon between October 2007 and March 2008.

Ms Boyd is accused of assaulting her son at Douglas Family Centre in Dundee on 5 March last year.

Mr Cunningham is also charged with repeatedly and wilfully ill-treating another young boy at properties in Dundee between October 2007 and March 2008.

The pair deny all charges.

The trial, before Judge John Morris QC, continues.

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