Heartbroken mum cleared of killing newborn baby feared ‘nobody believed me’

A grieving mum cleared of murdering her newborn daughter told a court that "nobody seemed to believe me".

Shauna Donnelly, 25, admitted she thought she was "going to prison for the rest of my life" after she was charged over the death of her baby, but medical evidence cleared her of any crime.

If convicted Ms Donnelly could have been facing spending 20 years in jail, TeessideLive reports.

Ms Donnelly, from Teesside, said: "I knew I hadn't done anything wrong but nobody seemed to believe me.

"I honestly thought I was going to prison for the rest of my life. I couldn't think about anything else and even now I know the judge and the barristers know I didn’t do anything, people still shout things at me and people still talk about me.

"The total strangers, who made comments on the newspaper articles threatening to do all sorts of awful things to me should listen to what the judge has said today about me being innocent of this and not say such nasty things about people in the future.

"It’s as if I won’t ever be able to get rid of the photo of me as 'that one who killed her baby'. It felt awful but now I’m finally able to move forward with my life”.

The prosecution offered no evidence at Teesside Crown Court and the case was dropped.

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An investigation was first launched when Ms Donnelly attended James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough on October 4, 2019, with her dead, day-old baby.

She was later charged with murder.

Medical opinion was that this was a child if born alive, who was extremely poorly and so unwell that the mother may well believe the child was stillborn.

There was no evidence of assault or trauma.

Eric Watson, defending, said: "Shauna Donnelly was the victim of the worst tragedy that could befall a new mother.

"Not only did she have to cope with the death of her child she also had to deal with appalling online abuse from members of the public who knew nothing of her case.

"This is a monumental judgement for Shauna and her family.

"The consequences were potentially devastating, and the experience hugely traumatic, they have been victims themselves through this process."

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