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New mother 'choked baby with toilet roll', court hears

By Claire Hayhurst

A mother murdered her newborn baby girl by filling her mouth with toilet paper before hiding the body in a suitcase, a court heard.

Claudia Martins (33) gave birth alone in the bath at her sister's flat in Knowle, Bristol, having allegedly kept the pregnancy a secret.

Paramedics went to the property after friends and family members found "a lot of blood" in the bath, and Martins was taken to hospital.

Bristol Crown Court heard Martins, a Portuguese national, repeatedly told medical staff she had not given birth or been pregnant. Two days later, police were called to the flat and found the body of a newborn baby inside a small black suitcase.

Martins, described as having an extremely low IQ, was arrested and admitted that she had given birth, but said the baby was stillborn.

A post-mortem found a wad of toilet paper inside her mouth, which experts claim was "deliberately inserted". Martins denies murder last September 12.

The trial continues.

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