Neighbour heard whimpering coming from home where child died, murder trial told

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The neighbour of a mum on trial accused of murdering her three-year-old son has told jurors he heard whimpering noises coming from next door in the days leading up to the tot's death. It is alleged that Christina Robinson left Dwelaniyah Robinson in "excruciating" pain after beating him with a bamboo cane before his death because the "bible told her she should chastise her child". Newcastle Crown Court heard Dwelaniyah died after the emergency services were called to his home on November 5 2022 by Robinson, who said the toddler had stopped breathing while eating a cheese bap. But prosecutors claim it was Robinson, 28, who inflicted a series of "violent and cruel" acts on her little boy before she eventually killed him. Paramedics who attended the house at Bracken Court, Ushaw Moor, County Durham, saw the boy's legs were heavily bandaged, which Robinson claimed was from some minor burns caused by him playing in the shower. The court heard on Tuesday that Robinson, whose husband Gabriel Adu-Appau was in the RAF, had an "internet boyfriend" she met on a dating site while also trying to get pregnant through an online sperm donor. Robinson and Mr Adu-Appau lived a "private" life but got on well with neighbours following their move in 2019, jurors were told. However, the court heard from direct neighbour Allan Hirst today (THURS), who said he and his wife could hear whimpering sounds coming from a child through the wall. Mr Hirst told jurors he worked permanent nightshifts but was off work in the days leading up to Dwelaniyah's death. He said: "Approximately two weeks prior to the 5th, all I can describe it was hearing a whimpering on a night from a child. "Having children of my own, I assumed it was either a dummy had come out or they just wanted a parent. "It was a general whimpering, there was no crying or shouting. "For the two weeks prior to the 5th I would say it was every night on my off days and my wife would hear it regularly at night. "It was continual. With working nightshifts and my toiletry habits, I'm up often during the night on my days off and I could hear it often on a night. "All I could say it was coming from next door, I couldn't place which room it was coming from. "In general conversation (with my wife), we were concerned to the point where we were trying to figure out what the child might need whether it was a dummy but it went no further than that." The trial also heard from another neighbour Christopher Bartley, who specialised in children's education. Mr Bartley told the court he has last seen Dwelaniyah around six weeks before his death and said he appeared his usual "lovely" self. Prosecutors claim Robinson had inflicted a series of "violent and cruel" acts on her little boy before she eventually killed him. Dwelaniyah's "terminal collapse" and death was caused by an impact to his head which caused devastating injuries to his eyes and brain. Jurors heard that Robinson had gone to stay with family who lived in Tamworth, in the West Midlands, where she was originally from, due to marital problems with Mr Adu-Appau at around Easter 2022. However, she returned a short while later before her husband left the family home to complete RAF training.  Mr Bartley said he got on well with the family and often delivered them sweets and Easter eggs but said they were "private". He told jurors that the children were always immaculate in presentation. Referring to the day of Dwelaniyah's death, Mr Bartley said: "It all happened about quarter-past four. I sent Gabriel a WhatsApp, I just said I don't know where you are but you need to get home now there's something going on now. "The street was full of police. The North Air Ambulance had been, I believe the police chopper was up. "There was people down the end of the street gathering. There must have been at least 18 to 20 police officers in the street." Robinson denies murder and cruelty to a person under 16. The trial continues.

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