Baby was happy and healthy, mother accused of manslaughter tells court
Hannah Henry said three-month-old Ah’Keill had no health problems before he was rushed to hospital after allegedly being shaken and immersed in water.
The mother of a three-month-old baby who died after allegedly being shaken and immersed in water by his parents told police he was a healthy, happy baby.
Hannah Henry said her son Ah’Kiell Walker had no health problems apart from some constipation which she put down to his baby formula being too thick for him, in a series of police interviews carried out after he was rushed to hospital, on July 30, 2016.
Henry, 22, who is on trial at Bristol Crown Court alongside the baby’s father Alistair Walker, 27, told officers Walker, her then partner, had been physically abusive towards her but denied that he was violent towards Ah’Kiell.
The pair deny manslaughter, causing or allowing the death of a child and cruelty to a person aged under 16.
“He is comical, I could sit there all day and just listen to him and just look at him; he just makes me smile.”
Henry said the last time she had seen a health professional was when Ah’Kiell was six weeks old and the health visitor had checked on him.
Other than that his health was good and there had been no need to take him to the doctors, she said.
Henry said she had not taken Ah’Kiell for his immunisation because she and Walker “don’t agree” with them.
She said Ah’Kiell was generally well but had been suffering from constipation the week prior to his admission to hospital.
Henry said she gave him sugar water to try to relieve this because his belly was swollen.
She said on July 30, Ah’Kiell woke up at around 5.30am and Walker gave him a bottle of formula.
Later that morning she prepared a bottle of sugar water and Walker gave it to him.
Not long afterwards, Ah’Kiell was alone with Walker when he started coughing up bloody mucus and then stopped breathing, she said.
“He woke up coughing and his face was swollen,” said Henry.
“He was coughing and I have gone straight to the phone to ring an ambulance and then he started getting puffy.”
She said Walker was walking around with Ah’Kiell against his chest and she splashed him with water in the bathroom, hoping it might help to revive him.
“Alistair said ‘can you put some water on his face?’,” she said.
“I put my hand under the water and I just splashed him a bit but it was from a distance.”
Henry said paramedics arrived quickly and Ah’Kiell had been fine prior to the coughing incident.
She also told officers she liked her privacy and did not “really like people coming to my house, especially since he had been born”.
In a third interview on August 1, the day after Ah’Kiell died, Henry told officers Walker had been abusive towards her during their relationship, despite denying this when asked in earlier interviews.
“About one and a half years ago he broke my jaw in three different places which caused me to have an emergency operation and metal plates put into my jaw,” she said.
Henry said Walker did not like her talking to other people, including her mother, or having friends but insisted she would “never let him be violent” towards her child.
Asked to explain what happened to Ah’Kiell, she said she did not know but added: “They said there is water in his lungs.
“Alistair had a bottle of Ah’Kiells and he sliced the teat so the hole was bigger for him to drink it.”
Henry said she saw Walker do this about two to three weeks prior to Ah’Kiells death and had taken the teat and thrown it in the bin.
Henry, of Tuffley, Gloucestershire, and Walker, of Lansdowne Green, London, deny all the charges against them.
The trial continues.