Tragic baby ‘discharged into parents’ care despite hospital staff opposition’

Lauren Saint George and Darren Hurrell deny murdering 10-week-old Lily-Mai Hurrell Saint George.

14 June 2022

A 10-week-old baby girl was allegedly murdered by her parents just six days after being discharged into their care despite the opposition of hospital staff, a court has heard.

Lily-Mai Hurrell Saint George suffered 18 rib fractures, a leg fracture, and a fatal head injury allegedly caused by forceful shaking at the hands of Lauren Saint George and Darren Hurrell, both 25.

She was taken to North Middlesex Hospital suffering from the injuries in keeping with suspected physical abuse after a 999 call on January 31 2018, a jury was told.

But Lily-Mai died two days later on February 2 after being transferred to Great Ormond Street Hospital.

Saint George, of Enfield in north London, and Hurrell, of Alvaston in Derby, are on trial at Wood Green Crown Court, where they deny murder, manslaughter, causing or allowing a death and child cruelty.

Darren Hurrell
Darren Hurrell (James Manning/PA)

Prosecutor Sally O’Neill QC told the jury on Tuesday: “It is the Crown’s case that these two defendants, Lily-Mai’s parents, were responsible for her death and that these fatal injuries were caused to Lily-Mai by forceful shaking shortly before that 999 call only six days after she had been discharged into their care.”

The court heard the pair had been housed at a flat in Duckett’s Green, north London, while their baby was still in Barnet Hospital, having been born prematurely at 31 weeks.

Theresa Ferguson, a social worker with Haringey Child and Family Services, was allocated the case after concerns raised over the parents’ ability to care for Lily-Mai.

But a decision was made to discharge the baby after a meeting Saint George stormed out of due to “anger issues,” said Ms O’Neill.

“Almost all of the professionals at the hospital were opposed to the baby being discharged into the parents’ care at home and had expressed their concern about the parents’ ability to meet the baby’s emotional, developmental and physical needs on many occasions to the social services, but nonetheless, the decision was made to discharge the baby into the care of her parents and the hospital had to accept that and deal with the situation as best they could,” she said.

The trial, which is due to last up to five weeks, continues.

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