A TEENAGE mother accused of killing her newborn son has told a court she didn’t know she was pregnant.
Paris Mayo, who was 15 when she gave birth alone in the living room of her Ross-on-Wye family home in March 2019, also told her murder trial at Worcester Crown Court she loved the child and hadn’t meant to hurt him.
The 19-year-old, who was a John Kyrle High School pupil at the time and later attended Monmouth Comprehensive, denies murdering the infant.
The court has previously been told that she gave birth “suddenly and unexpectedly” at her Sprinfield Avenue home on the evening of March 23.
She then allegedly concealed the birth from her parents and brother, who didn’t know she was pregnant, and left the baby in a bin bag on the doorstep of her house.
He was found the following morning by her brother and mother, after she had texted her sibling, asking him to put the bag in the bin.
The prosecution allege that Mayo, now of Ruardean, assaulted the boy, causing head injuries, and put cotton wool into his mouth, suffocating him.
Entering the witness box on Monday, Mayo told the jury she was unaware she was pregnant until she went into labour and was confused and scared by what was happening.
“I knew I didn’t want to hurt him. I do feel stupid that I didn’t go and tell anyone and get help,” she said.
“I loved him. I always think about what he would be like and how he would have been.”
She denied deliberately hurting the baby, and said: “I started to panic because he wasn’t crying or making a noise and I got really scared.
“It all happened so fast, I don’t really remember a lot about it. I just remember he hit his head and that was really it. The [umbilical] cord was around his throat.”
She admitted putting the baby in the bin bag, but claimed: “I knew my mum would find him. I didn’t know how else to tell someone.”
Asked by her barrister whether she knew she was pregnant before the baby - posthumously named Stanley - was born, she replied: “No, I was always scared of the thought I might be. I had never taken a test and it telling me I was pregnant.
“I was more suspicious I could have been, rather than actually knowing if I was or not.”
She had experienced abdominal pain and sickness which would “go back and come away”, and said: “I thought it was a stomach bug that went away, or I had eaten something that disagreed with me.”
She was examined by a GP the previous October after being taken to the surgery by her mother, but denied having sex.
“I told her no because at that time I wasn’t,” she said. “I think I must have misunderstood how she was asking it. I felt like I could have told her if I felt comfortable enough, but I didn’t know how to go about it.”
She said she “thought” that having sex at such a young age “was a way to get people to like me, because I was quite insecure about the way I looked and the way I was made to feel about myself at home because my family situation was quite bad”.
The court has been told that her father was having dialysis upstairs under the supervision of her mother at the time of her birth, and died 10 days later.
Mayo said she had helped care for him, but he “thrived on us being scared of him”.
“He put a lot of pressure on us to be the kids he wanted us to be, rather than what we wanted to be,” she said.
Fighting back tears, she said: “I loved my dad.”
The trial continues.