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So sorry I called salt lad a veg.

Byline: RICHARD SMITH

A MAN accused of murdering a three-year-old boy he and his wife wanted to adopt regretted calling him "a vegetable" a court heard yesterday.

Toddler Christian Blewitt died of salt poisoning and head injuries in Birmingham Children's Hospital six weeks after moving to Ian and Angela Gay's.

He was placed there with his younger brother and sister after their mum was deemed unfit.

The court has heard that in conversations with social workers before Christian's death Mr Gay expressed dissatisfaction that the boy was introverted and did not fit in.

The 37-year-old told the jury: "I used words I regret. I think I called him brainless. I think I called him a vegetable. I might have called him a zombie."

The former electrician turned house-husband told Worcester crown court Christian "withdrew" without his brother.

Gay and wife Angela, 38, of Halesowen, West Mids, deny child cruelty and murder or manslaughter. The trial continues.

CAPTION(S):

DEAD: Christian
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Dec 18, 2004
Words:160
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