A woman stabbed her newborn baby girl to death seconds after she was born and put her lifeless body in the kitchen bin.
Preston Crown Court heard Rachel Julie Tunstill
stabbed her newborn daughter Mia Kelly
15 times in the bathroom of the Burnley flat she shared with her partner, Ryan Kelly and told her partner that suffered a miscarriage after she went into labour on the toilet on January 14.
According to prosecutors, Tunstill, who has a masters degree in forensic psychology, carried out the murder as her partner of nine years sat oblivious in the next room playing on his X-box.
Prosecutors heard how Tunstill gave birth to baby Mia on the toilet of her home in Burnley, Lancs, before later telling cops she had not flushed baby Mia “as she had done with her previous miscarriage”.She told police the baby had a small cut to the back of its neck but offered no explanation as to how it got there.
The jury heard the defendant never attempted to revive the baby, claiming she didn’t know how – but work records show she had a successfully passed a first aid course in adult and child resuscitation.
Giving evidence, Ryan described how Tunstill made little noise during the three hours she was in the bathroom, but for around 20 minutes he heard an unfamiliar high-pitched sound “which was like water being sq££zed out of a plastic bottle”.
The court heard once baby Mia was dead, Tunstill wrapped her body in two plastic bags, walked past her boyfriend and placed the body in the bin.
Authorities were only made aware of the death two days later when Tunstill went to hospital claiming she felt an abnormality while showering and feared the miscarriage wasn’t complete.
The jury was told examinations showed the abnormal growth was the umbilical chord still attached to the placenta.
Mrs Blackwell said:
“Tunstill told nurses that she had passed a baby and it had not been breathing.“
The chord had snapped and she had picked up the baby.
“It had turned blue and she couldn't find a pulse. She placed the baby on the floor, while she sorted herself out. Then she bagged up the baby and placed it in the bin.”
Tunstill told nurses that she had only been pregnant for around five weeks but more intrusive examinations suggested she had been pregnant for longer.
Mrs Blackwell said it is the prosecution’s case that she had been pregnant for between 36 and 37 weeks.
The jury was told police went to the hospital and the defendant allegedly told officers that Mr Kelly had put baby Mia in an outside bin.
After cops seized her iPad and mobile, they discovered internet searches including “bringing about abortion”, and results about a man who had been arrested for the murder his own children.
Defending lawyer, Simon Kealey said:
“There is no dispute that the baby was born alive and that the baby died as aresult of a number of stab wounds. But the precise process by which that occurred the defendant has no recollection of.”
Tunstill denies murder and the hearing continues.