Murder-accused mother bagged-up newborn to be thrown out as ‘rubbish’, jury told
A teenage mother accused of murdering her newborn son and then putting his remains in a bin liner “was hoping her mum would think the bag was rubbish and throw it out”, a jury heard.
Paris Mayo, who is now 19 but was 15 at the time of the incident, has gone on trial accused of killing Stanley Mayo before putting him in a bin bag at her parents’ home in Springfield Avenue, Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire, on March 23 2019.
She is alleged to have concealed both her pregnancy and her delivery of the baby, alone and unaided, claiming she was unaware she was carrying.
Paramedic Avril Lowe told a Worcester Crown Court jury on Monday what Mayo told her, sat in the back of an ambulance, outside her home, shortly after 8.30am on March 24 2019.
The conversation happened after Mayo’s mother had summoned the emergency services, having found baby Stanley’s lifeless body in a bin liner on the front doorstep of the family home.
She just went hysterical
George Mayo, on his mother's reaction
Jonas Hankin KC, for the prosecution, reading back Ms Lowe’s police statement made near the time, asked the medic: “She, Paris, said, she had put the baby in a plastic bag.
“Was that information she volunteered to you or was she responding to a question?
“I cannot recall,” replied Ms Lowe.
“I can remember her saying she didn’t think the baby seemed right. I didn’t explore that any further.”
Mr Hankin then asked: “You recorded, she, Paris said she was ‘hoping her mum would think the bag was rubbish and throw it out’?”
“It was something she volunteered,” said Ms Lowe.
The West Midlands Ambulance Service medic said she could “not exactly” recall Mayo’s precise form of words, but that “she did say that to me”.
Earlier, Mayo’s brother George Mayo, now 20 but 16 at the time, gave evidence, describing how earlier on the day of the birth his sister was “complaining of pain”.
Mr Mayo, who had gone out, returned to the home he shared with his mother, father and sister at about 10.30pm, on March 23.
The court previously heard that by this time, his parents were upstairs as his father Patrick Mayo – who jurors heard had died just 10 days after the birth – was having home dialysis.
Mr Mayo had a police statement he made nearer the time read back to him, and agreed, in court, that on returning home Mayo told him she “had bled heavily – and not to come in” to a sitting room.
“Did she tell you she would clear up the mess herself?” Mr Hankin asked, with Mr Mayo replying: “Yes.”
He then saw blood, describing them as “blotches of the size of a 50p piece”.
After later taking a cup of tea to his sister, then in bed, around midnight, he went back to his room and tried to sleep, but told jurors: “I didn’t sleep very well.
“I had a feeling something wasn’t right.”
The next morning, at 8.23am, he had a text message from his sister which read: “When you go outside, can you put the black bag in the bin, as it’s just full of sick from last night, pls?”
Mr Mayo described coming across a bin bag outside on the front doorstep and, lifting it, remarked it was “unusually heavy” and seeing “streaks of blood”, beneath it.
His mother, who was next to him at the door asking him to take out some recycling, had also seen him try to lift the bag.
Mr Hankin asked: “Did you (then) turn to see your mother on the doorstep, opening the unusually heavy and blood-stained bag?
“What was her reaction?”
Mr Mayo, snapping his fingers in court for emphasis, said: “She just went hysterical.”
Asked by Mr Hankin if he had known his sister was pregnant, he replied: “I didn’t have any idea at all.”
Under cross-examination from Mayo’s barrister Bernard Richmond KC, Mr Mayo was asked about the character of his and his sister’s late father, Patrick Mayo.
The siblings’ father had a number of health ailments including “heart problems, diabetes and kidney failure” for which he was having home-based dialysis, upstairs, with the aid of their mother, at the time Mayo was giving birth.
Mr Richmond asked Mr Mayo: “He was not an easy person, was he?”
“No,” replied Mr Mayo.
Mr Richmond then asked: “One of the things he was, was very controlling?”
“He could be at times, he was fair but old-fashioned,” Mayo’s brother replied.
Mayo’s barrister then asked: “I know it is very hard to speak ill of your dad, but as he became more ill, he became more frustrated, and his temper became shorter.
He (her father) told her she was useless and wasn't his daughter anymore?
Bernard Richmond KC
“Although not someone who used his fists, he could be horribly cruel with words – and with attitude?”
“He could, yes,” replied Mr Mayo.
Mr Richmond asked about an occasion when Paris had been needed to help out with dialysis, “but Paris couldn’t deal with it and he (her father) told her she was useless and wasn’t his daughter anymore?”
Mr Mayo replied: “I don’t remember.”
In the immediate aftermath of the discovery of Mayo’s lifeless newborn, Mr Mayo agreed his mother was “hysterical”, and his sister was crying and upset.
Meanwhile, Mr Mayo was “in limbo, I didn’t know what to or do, I sat there with dad and just sat in silence”.
“The only thing he said was he asked me what was going on, I told him, and he didn’t say anything, just nodded his head,” he added.
Mr Richmond asked: “He sat there, stony-faced? Emotionless?”
“Yes,” replied Mr Mayo, adding: “So was I.”
The Crown alleges Stanley suffered a fractured skull, possibly caused by Mayo’s foot on his head, before she then stuffed five pieces of cotton wool into his mouth – two of which were found deep in the throat.
Mayo, of Ruardean, Gloucestershire, denies wrongdoing and the trial, expected to last six weeks, continues.