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Adoptive parents charged over death of one-year-old boy in Cumbria after he died from head injury

Woman, 38, is charged with murdering one-year-old boy who died from serious head injuries as her husband is also charged over death of the child they were adopting

  • Laura and Scott Castle, of Barrow, Cumbria, to face court over death of a baby 
  • Leiland Corkill, one, was rushed to hospital and died of severe head injuries 
  • Little Leiland had been taken from his birth mother two days after he was born and placed into the care of Cumbria Social Services
  • The baby was living with prospective parents Laura and Scott when he died 


A couple will face court today after they were charged over the death of a one-year-old baby boy they were trying to adopt just months after he was placed into care.

Laura Castle, 38, has been charged with murder while Scott Castle, 34, has been charged with causing or allowing a person’s death, after Leiland Corkill was rushed to hospital with a severe head injury and died the following day. 

The one-year-old, originally from Whitehaven in Cumbria, had been taken into care just two days after he was born, had been living with the prospective adoptive parents in Barrow, Cumbria when he died.

Laura Castle spoke only to confirm her name and address during a short hearing at South Cumbria Magistrates’ Court on Friday afternoon.

She was remanded in custody ahead of her next appearance at Preston Crown Court on Monday. Husband Scott is expected to face justices on Friday afternoon.  

One-year-old Leiland Corkill (pictured) died after he was rushed to Furness General Hospital in Cumbria with a severe head injury on January 

Leiland was taken from his natural mother Laura Corkill when he was just 48 hours old and placed into the care of Cumbria Social Services.

Paramedics were called to a house in Barrow-in-Furness on January 6 where they found Leiland with an injury, prompting them to call police.

He was transferred to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital from Furness General Hospital for specialist medical care due to his critical condition.

Tragically, Leiland passed away on the afternoon of January 7, with detectives launching a murder probe.

He was still under the care of Cumbria County Council at the time of his death.

It is a requirement of the Adoption and Children Act 2002 that a child lives with their adoptive parents for a period before an application for an adoption order can be made.

When a child is placed with adopters they assume Parental Responsibility, but the child also remains ‘looked after’ by the Local Authority until an adoption order is granted. 

Police received a report from North West Ambulance Service on January 6 this year regarding the incident at a property in Cumbria. Pictured: Cumbria County Council

Police received a report from North West Ambulance Service on January 6 this year regarding the incident at a property in Cumbria. Pictured: Cumbria County Council

A spokesman for Cumbria Police said: ‘Two people have been charged in connection with an investigation into the death of a one-year-old boy in Barrow.

‘Laura Castle, 38, from Barrow, has been charged with murder.

‘Scott Castle, 34, from Barrow, has been charged with causing or allowing a person’s death.

‘Both have been remanded in police custody and are set to appear at Barrow-in-Furness Magistrates’ Court today.

‘The charges relate to the death of a one-year-old boy who died in January.’

John Readman, executive director at Cumbria County Council, said: ‘This is a deeply distressing case and our thoughts are with the little boy’s family. 

‘We can confirm that he was looked after by the local authority and at the time of his death was placed with adoptive parents.’ 

He added: ‘A police investigation is also ongoing, and so we are unable to make any further comment at this stage.’

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