Parents accused of four-day-old baby's murder 'starved newborn and buried corpse in shoebox in shallow grave'


A couple starved their days-old baby before putting his corpse in a shoebox and burying him in a shallow grave in a cemetery, a court heard.
Anthony Clark, 35, and Catherine Davies, 25, are accused of murder following the newborn's death in August last year.
The baby was "denied adequate food and liquid" after his birth and death were kept a secret from almost everyone, the court heard.
They went to a supermarket and bought food and other items for themselves, but nothing for the baby, a jury was told.
Doctors say the baby, who was only named weeks after his death, passed away four or five days after being born, the Manchester Evening News reports.
The couple, who relied on Clark’s £280 a month benefits to live on, both deny murder.
The jury at Manchester Crown Court was told that Clark has pleaded guilty to concealing a birth, and Ms Davies has pleaded not guilty to the same offence.
Following his birth in August last year, the baby only left the house once, so that Clark could sign on at the job centre to collect his benefits, the prosecution said.
After this, they went to a Morrison’s supermarket where they bought food and other items for themselves, but nothing for the baby, the jury was told.
“He was, the prosecution say, denied adequate food and liquid, and it’s that that led to his death,” prosecutor Louise Blackwell QC said.
Medical reports found the baby was "all but full born", and hadn’t been born prematurely.
A post-mortem examination concluded that it was a "very strong possibility" that the baby died due to dehydration, but that the official cause of death is unascertained.
Another expert say they were "struck" by the "emaciated appearance" of the deceased baby.
His body had been wrapped in an orange blanket and put in a shoe box, which was wrapped in sticky tape and covered with a plastic bag.
The pair are accused of digging a hole at Heaton Cemetery in Bolton "under cover of darkness" to bury the child, before filling in the hole.
About a month after the baby’s death, Ms Davies rang her mother who lived in a care home to ask for money.
Following their conversation Ms Davies’s suspicious mother called the police, and they were arrested and interviewed on October 1 last year at their flat, in Thornbank East, Bolton.
The court heard they both initially denied that Ms Davies had given birth, and she said her mother was mentally ill.

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