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Woman, 24, appears in court accused of murdering newborn.

Byline: IAN MCNEAL ian.mcneal@reachplc.com @IANMCNEAL

THIS is the first picture of a woman accused of murdering a newborn baby.

Shauna Donnelly appeared at court yesterday morning after police arrested her in connection with the death of Ellis Donnelly on October 3 last year.

It is said Donnelly attended James Cook University Hospital on October 4 carrying a newborn baby. It is thought the baby was born the day before.

The baby, named Ellis, was deceased on arrival.

Following medical examinations Donnelly has since been under investigation by police.

Officers attended the Teesville area in October last year as part of the investigation into the child's death.

Detectives carried out door-todoor inquiries and witnesses said at the time that a bin at the nowclosed Eston Hotel car park, off Fabian Road, was taped off.

Donnelly had previously been twice arrested and released under investigation, but has now been charged by Cleveland Police. She initially appeared from custody in front of District Judge Helen Cousins at Teesside Magistrates' Court, and in a one-minute hearing, she spoke only to confirm her name and address.

That hearing was adjourned for a crown court appearance, which took place an hour later via video link from Teesside Justice Centre in front of Judge Paul Watson QC.

The 24-year-old did not enter a plea at either hearing. In the second hearing, further details of the case were outlined, although no details about how the child died were given.

Barrister Robert Mochrie, on behalf of Donnelly, described her as a vulnerable person with some learning disabilities. Mr Mochrie said Donnelly, who has no previous offences, faced an "extremely sensitive and delicate allegation". The court was told how she attended Middlesbrough police station knowing that she potentially faced a homicide charge of either murder or the related offence of infanticide.

Judge Watson granted Donnelly bail with conditions including curfew of 4pm and 6am - adding that she was already restricted by coronavirus guidelines applying to the general public.

A condition was also imposed preventing any work with children after the court heard Donnelly had done babysitting work.

Judge Watson said: "The defendant attended at hospital on October 4 last year with a newborn baby, probably born a day or so before.

"Sadly Ellis, the newborn, was found to be deceased on arrival at hospital.

"During the course of the medical investigations which took place very shortly after that Miss Donnelly has remained at large and under investigation since October last year.

"During that time she has been living with her mother and father, who will be witnesses in the case.

"I imagine the key issues in any trial will as likely as not revolve around medical evidence."

Donnelly will next appear in court on June 10.

CAPTION(S):

Shauna Donnelly has yet to give a plea to the murder charge she faces

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Author:IAN MCNEAL ian.mcneal@reachplc.com @IANMCNEAL
Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:Apr 2, 2020
Words:475
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