Kettle Burns Mum ‘Couldn’t Cope’

A mother accused of pouring a kettle of boiling water over her five-year-old son told friends she could not cope, Cardiff Crown Court has heard. The boy, who is now 17, suffered burns to more than 20% of his body in October 1995, the court has been told.

The court heard that his mother told friends her son had been “doing her head in”, and she had never loved him. The 35-year-old from Cardiff denies charges of grievous bodily harm and claims the scalding was accidental. The prosecution alleges that the woman, who cannot be named, deliberately emptied the water over her child, “deliberately and seriously” scalding him.

The court heard that his mother had originally told one of her friends the five-year-old had run into her while she was holding the kettle. But on another occasion, she told the same friend he kicked it out of her hand whilst imitating the television programme Power Rangers.

The friend told the court that after the boy had made a statement to the police in September 2005, the woman told her she did not want to go to jail. “She started getting really jumpy, irate and crying,” the friend told the court. I said ‘why did you do it?’ and she turned around and said she couldn’t cope any more, he was doing her head in, she had never loved him and had waited her whole life for her daughter.”

A second friend, who said she had been present during the conversation, told the court the mother had said: “He done my head in and I couldn’t cope. She said she (the mother) had lived her whole life for (her daughter) and had never really loved (her son).”

The court had previously heard that the case had been before the court in September 2006, but was stopped five days into the trial when the two friends came forward.

Lucy Crowther, defending, asked both women why they had not gone to the police until after the trial had started. They said they had only realised the case was going ahead when they read about it in the local paper, and had been scared of repercussions from the mother’s family. One said she had decided to make a statement following a telephone conversation with the boy’s father.

On Monday, the teenager told the court he was “full of rage” after suffering burns to his shoulders, neck, chest and torso. He said he had not told anybody the scalding was deliberate until 2004, because his mother told him she would kill herself if he did. His mother denies grievous bodily harm with intent and inflicting grievous bodily harm. The case continues.