Chilling moment killer mum launches to feet in cop interview as she shamelessly lies about 'leathering' tot, 1, to death
THIS is the chilling moment a killer mum jumped to her feet as she shamelessly lied to cops about murdering a baby she hoped to adopt.
Leiland-James Corkhill was placed under the care of Laura Castle, 38, and her husband Scott Castle, 35, just five months before he died.
The 12-month-old suffered catastrophic head injuries at their home in Barrow-in-Furness including a bleed on the brain.
Laura sobbed as she was jailed for life with a minimum of 18 years today after being convicted of murder at Preston Crown Court.
Husband Scott was cleared of causing or allowing the death of a child and child cruelty.
The mum had already pleaded guilty to manslaughter and admitted she shook him so he would "stop crying".
Sentencing, Mr Justice Jeremy Baker said she had caused "dreadful emotional upset" to Leiland-James' birth mother and his previous foster parents.
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Haunting footage released by police shows Laura crying fake tears as she spun a web of lies about Leiland-James' death.
She claimed the tot was on her lap as he ate Weetabix when she leaned over to put some wipes away.
The sick mum can then be seen jumping to her feet as she lies to officers about how he suffered his fatal injuries.
She said: "I tried to put the wipes back in the coffee table drawer so I'm leaning over and I stood up like that…and he fell on the floor.
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"I didn't put him on the sofa, I was just frightened because I didn't have hold of him.
"I picked him up…he was struggling, like gasping."
A second clip showed vile Laura replying "no comment" to police as they quiz her over previous times she admitted "slapping" the baby.
In other shocking footage released after her conviction showed Laura pulling a face as a child cries next to her in a hospital bed.
In another clip, little Leiland-James can be seen screaming in a baby bouncer as Laura tells him: "You're alright".
She sighs as she adds: "What's to do? Stop."
The court heard how the baby was a "looked-after child" who was taken into care at birth before he was approved to live with the Castles.
The move in August 2020 had been approved by Cumbria Children's Services Department, which was at the centre of the Poppi Worthington scandal.
In November that year, a social worker reported concerns Laura did not love Leiland-James after she called him "lazy" and "big".
A review took place the next month and the couple were told officials would not support an application for a permanent adoption unless further therapeutic work was undertaken.
But The Castles wanted to plough ahead regardless as Laura's family loved the boy.
Ms Hindle added: "My reaction was that in itself is not a good enough reason to adopt a child.
"I was not convinced the adoption would hold."
A care planning meeting was recommended for the next year.
But in January 2021, Laura called 999 and claimed Leiland-James had fallen from a sofa and injured his head.
He was rushed to hospital in cardiac arrest but sadly never regained consciousness and was declared dead the next day.
Medics at Alder Hey later raised concerns the injuries were not consistent with the account given by Laura.
The couple were arrested and their harrowing texts discovered when officers seized their mobile phones.
Laura referred to the baby as a "proper n*bhead", a "d**k" and a s**t bag" and admitted to "smacking" the child the messages.
In one text she wrote: "I honestly really don't like him lately, hes an absolute moaning winge bag and I totally regret doin this [sic].
"I'm goin to lose my mind. He just p****s me off all the time, can never just have a nice day or night ever.
"Although I need to stop smacking him cos if I start I'll not stop at one point and it's not getting us anywhere and then I feel bad."
She then messaged the next day: "I've just absolutely leathered him, I can('t) take this anymore, he's gonna have to go."
'I WANTED HIM TO STOP'
On September 25, Laura messaged her husband saying she had "leathered" Leiland-James again as she was at her "wits end".
She added: "I'm just an abusive parent so it seems."
In court, Laura said the baby was "screaming" after breakfast on the morning of January 6 last year.
She told her barrister, David McLachlan QC: "I shook my beautiful boy. I just wanted him to stop crying."
Laura explained Leiland-James hit his head on the back of the arm of the sofa and fell off her knee to the floor.
She added: "I picked him up. I just couldn't take the crying. I don't know who that person is and then it's like I realised what had happened and I thought he was winded.
"I picked him up and his hands were like stiff, then he went floppy. He was like gasping and I just though he was winded."
Following the verdict, Joanne Close, Senior Crown Prosecutor with CPS North, branded Laura "self-centred, abusive and violent".
She said: "His birth mother believed he would be safe and have a good life.
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"His foster parents cared for and loved him for eight months; they described him as a beautiful little boy with the most contagious laugh.
"But his life was cruelly cut short by the actions of Laura Castle; she was self-centred, abusive and violent and unfit to provide a home to this vulnerable child."
Leiland-James’ birth mother Laura pays tribute
I carry Leiland-James forever in my heart, I hear his cheeky laughter in the wind that blows, see his beautiful smile in my memories engrained within my soul, his photos on every wall.
I have foot prints and handprints and a memory box but all I want is to hold him, Leiland-James liked kisses and snuggles and always fell asleep in my arms.
My son, Leiland-James Corkill was a happy wee boy, he always had a bright beaming smile, a smile that would brighten days, even on my worst days he is my sunshine. My son, Leiland-James visits in my dreams, he will always be by my side, safe forever now within my heart.
No sentence will ever be enough, for the pain, trauma and brutality that was inflicted on his tiny baby body and mind. I understand that you as a judge will make judgment, I understand that you are governed by what sentence you can put forward, nothing will ever bring back my baby, nothing will ever reduce or take away that pain.
The monster that scared and broke my baby boy’s body and mind will never have forgiveness this is something that she will carry for the rest of her days.
The Monster has said that she wants “her boy to have justice”, he was not and never will be your baby boy you lost that right the first second it went through your head to hurt him. He was a precious baby, vulnerable and innocent, he had no voice, he could not defend himself. The names you called him and the hurt you caused him, the fact that you blamed him for your disgusting behaviour and treatment of him, Leiland-James was a baby! A tiny baby! Shame! Shame! on you, you are not a mother, you are a monster.
I never expected to say goodbye, I never expected to bury my son and I never expected to be writing this letter to a judge in my son’s murder trial. I would say I would like the key to be thrown away and for the monster that hurt my child be left to rot in the hell that she inflicted on my child, but this is for a higher power that she will have to suffer for what she has done for eternity.
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