Belfast Telegraph

Mum of murdered tot unaware accused lover suicidal, court told

The mother of a baby boy allegedly murdered by his father has said she would never have left him in his care if she had known he was suicidal.

Sheree Black told the Belfast Crown Court trial of her estranged partner Ryan John Leslie that no-one had told her of his attempt to hang himself the day before he started looking after their baby son Cameron.

Leslie, aged 26 from Ballyvesey Green, Newtownabbey, who claims he showed his 14-week-old son “nothing but love and devotion”, denies his murder.

Baby Cameron Jay Leslie died on September 6, 2008 from swelling to the brain two days after being rushed to hospital.

His 21-year-old mother Sheree said she was “absolutely livid” when she learned that Leslie had attempted suicide earlier that week.

“If I had known I would not have left my child in his care,” she added.

At one stage Ms Black wept as she told about rushing to hospital to be with her baby son after Leslie phoned her to say the child wasn't breathing properly.

Ms Black said when she rushed into the hospital she “actually walked past” her son's bed in the emergency room.

“I didn’t know it was him lying on the bed with wires and tubes,”

said his weeping mother yesterday.

Ms Black described her relationship with Leslie as “stormy” and punctuated with “violence”.

However, under cross-examination she told defence QC John Orr that before they separated, they had “worked like a team” concerning baby Cameron, and that Leslie was “very hands-on” when it came to their son.

Ms Black also told Mr Orr that she never for a moment thought that Leslie would harm their child.

“No matter what Ryan may have done to me, I never, ever thought he would do anything to endanger his son,” said Ms Black, who was reminded by Mr Orr that she told police she never felt Leslie would harm “his own flesh and blood”.

Belfast Telegraph

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