Mother guilty of murdering three-year-old son after ‘campaign of violence’

A mother who carried out a “campaign of cruelty” against her three-year-old son has been convicted of his murder.

Christina Robinson, 30, lost her temper and violently shook her son Dwelaniyah at the family home in Bracken Court, Ushaw Moor, Durham, in November 2022.

In the weeks prior, she had deliberately immersed him in scalding water, causing severe burns that would have caused excruciating pain.

She treated his injuries herself and did not seek medical help as safeguarding concerns would have been obvious if a health worker saw him.

She told Newcastle Crown Court her reason to use the cane was that the youngster was messing around with his food.

The defendant, originally from Tamworth, Staffordshire, was convicted of murder and four child cruelty charges.

The jury found that Robinson did cause a fatal brain injury to her son on November 5 2022 while she was the only adult in the house.

It was more than 20 minutes before she dialled 999, first speaking to her husband on the phone despite him being away serving with the RAF 240 miles away, and then using Google to look at how to resuscitate a child.

Christina Robinson court case
Christina Robinson talks to police as emergency services try to save her son (Crown Prosecution Service/PA)

Despite their efforts at the scene Dwelaniyah could not be saved and probably died at the house, although further attempts to resuscitate him were made in hospital.

A post-mortem examination revealed he had been the victim of a series of assaults and had sustained a number of non-accidental injuries.

“That person was his mother, the defendant Christina Robinson.”

In his closing speech, Mr Wright told the court: “He was subjected to a campaign of violence and cruelty by his mother for petty wrongs.”

Her husband, Dwelaniyah’s father, Gabriel Adu-Appau was away from the family home when his son was repeatedly injured.

He did not play any role in the trial.

His wife was using a sperm donor to try to conceive and, in October 2022, had also made contact with a man named Chisom Innocent Onoja using a dating app.

When she became pregnant, Robinson was in regular contact with health professionals, although she was not willing to get treatment for her son’s injuries.

Mr Justice Garnham will pass sentence on May 24, giving time to the defendant to seek legal representation after she parted with her team just before the end of the trial.

He thanked the jury, some of whom were visibly upset, for their “obvious care and attention”, and excused them from further service for 20 years.

The judge said: “I know from looking at you, this has been a stressful process, you need to get away and do something else, and think about something more cheerful.

“I am extremely grateful for all you have done.”

“This has been a truly horrific case that has affected everyone involved.

“I would like to thank our investigation team for their dedication and commitment to get justice for Dwelaniyah.

“My thoughts are with those who truly cared about Dwelaniyah.

“Sadly, nothing can bring him back, but hopefully today’s verdict will provide some closure and allow them to grieve.”

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