The brother of a woman accused of murdering her newborn son after hiding her pregnancy told a trial he had noticed her gain weight but assumed she was just ‘big boned’, a jury heard today.
Paris Mayo, who is now 19 but was 15 at the time of the incident, has gone on trial accused of killing Stanley Mayo before putting him in a bin bag at her parents’ home in Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire, on March 23, 2019.
She is alleged to have concealed both her pregnancy and her birth, alone and unaided, claiming she was unaware she was carrying. Afterwards, she allegedly asked her brother George take out a bin bag that felt ‘unusually heavy’.
George Mayo, now 20 but 16 at the time, gave evidence at her Worcester Crown Court trial on Monday, describing how earlier on the day of the birth his sister was ‘complaining of pain’.
Asked by the judge Mr Justice Garnham if he was ‘told anything about the cause of the pain’, Mr Mayo replied: ‘To me, 16 years old, it was a lady thing – I didn’t want nothing to do with it.’
Paris Mayo (left) has gone on trial accused of killing Stanley Mayo before putting him in a bin bag at her parents’ home in Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire, on March 23, 2019
He described how Mayo then had a bath – her second of that day – at or shortly before 9pm, when he left the house to run an errand.
Mr Mayo returned to the home he shared with his mother, father and sister at about 10.30pm.
The court previously heard that by this time, his parents were upstairs as his father Patrick Mayo – who jurors heard had died just 10 days after the birth – was having home dialysis.
Mr Mayo had a police statement he made nearer the time read back to him, and agreed, in court, that on returning home Mayo told him she ‘had bled heavily – and not to come in’ to a sitting room.
‘Did she tell you she would clear up the mess herself?’ Mr Hankin asked, with Mr Mayo replying: ‘Yes.’
He then saw blood, describing them as ‘blotches of the size of a 50p piece’.
After later taking a cup of tea to his sister, then in bed, around midnight, he went back to his room and tried to sleep, but told jurors: ‘I didn’t sleep very well.
‘I had a feeling something wasn’t right.’
The next morning, at 8.23am, he had a text message from his sister which read: ‘When you go outside, can you put the black bag in the bin, as it’s just full of sick from last night, pls?’
Mr Mayo described coming across a bin bag outside on the front doorstep and, lifting it, remarked it was ‘unusually heavy’.
The Crown’s KC asked: ‘What did you see in the space underneath the bag after you lifted it up (off the front doorstep)?’
‘Streaks of blood,’ he replied.
His mother, who was next to him at the door asking him to take out some recycling, had also seen him try to lift the bag.
Mr Hankin asked: ‘Did you (then) turn to see your mother on the doorstep, opening the unusually heavy and blood-stained bag?
‘What was her reaction?’
Mr Mayo, snapping his fingers in court for emphasis, said: ‘She just went hysterical.’
Asked by Mr Hankin if he had known his sister was pregnant, he replied: ‘I didn’t have any idea at all.’
‘I had noticed she had put on some weight, but thought that was down to our family … we’re all big-boned in our family,’ he added.
Under cross-examination from Mayo’s barrister Bernard Richmond KC, Mr Mayo was asked about the character of his and his sister’s late father, Patrick Mayo.
The siblings’ father had a number of health ailments including ‘heart problems, diabetes and kidney failure’ for which he was having home-based dialysis, upstairs, with the aid of their mother, at the time Mayo was giving birth.
Mr Mayo died just days after the incident, the barrister told court.
Mr Richmond asked Mr Mayo: ‘He was not an easy person, was he?’
‘No,’ replied Mr Mayo.
Mr Richmond then asked: ‘One of the things he was, was very controlling?’
‘He could be at times, he was fair but old-fashioned,’ Mayo’s brother replied.
She is alleged to have concealed both her pregnancy and her birth, alone and unaided, claiming she was unaware she was carrying
Mayo’s barrister then asked: ‘I know it is very hard to speak ill of your dad, but as he became more ill, he became more frustrated, and his temper became shorter.
‘Although not someone who used his fists, he could be horribly cruel with words – and with attitude?’
‘He could, yes,’ replied Mr Mayo.
Asked if there was ‘pressure’ on himself and Paris ‘to help as much as you could’, around the house, while their mother was caring for their father, Mr Mayo replied ‘yes’.
Mr Richmond then asked about an occasion when Paris had been needed to help out with dialysis, ‘but Paris couldn’t deal with it and he (her father) told her she was useless and wasn’t his daughter anymore?’
Mr Mayo replied: ‘I don’t remember.’
He agreed with Mr Richmond’s words that ‘treading on eggshells’ around their father ‘damaged’ his and his sister’s mental health.
In the immediate aftermath of the discovery of Mayo’s lifeless newborn in a bin bag, Mr Mayo agreed his mother was ‘hysterical’, and his sister was crying and upset.
Meanwhile, Mr Mayo was ‘in limbo, I didn’t know what to or do, I sat there with dad and just sat in silence’.
‘The only thing he said was he asked me what was going on, I told him, and he didn’t say anything, just nodded his head,’ he added.
Mr Richmond asked: ‘He sat there, stony-faced? Emotionless?’
‘Yes,’ replied Mr Mayo, adding: ‘So was I.’
Mr Richmond then asked: ‘In fact your dad did say one thing – he insisted the baby was given a name – not only given a name – it had to be the name Stanley.
‘So whatever else was going on, your dad’s contribution was the baby got to be called Stanley.’
‘Yes,’ replied Mr Mayo.
In a 10-minute 999 call, played to Worcester Crown Court today, Mayo’s mother could at times be heard sobbing uncontrollably down the phone line and retching while repeatedly directing questions to her daughter.
Ringing the emergency services at 8.33am, she told the operator and, later, a paramedic: ‘My 16-year-old daughter just gave birth last night. I didn’t know.
‘I don’t know what to do.’
Asked if the baby was breathing, Mayo’s mother said ‘yes’ but corrected herself and said: ‘No. No.’
Asked if the baby was dead and beyond help, she replied: ‘Yes. Yes,’ before breaking down into tears.
‘It’s a boy,’ she added.
As the operator briefly waited for a paramedic to join the 999 call, Mayo’s mother could be heard asking her daughter: ‘Why didn’t you tell me? Why didn’t you tell me? Why didn’t you tell me?
‘You could have told me. You could have told me, Paris.’
She then told the paramedic: ‘My daughter has given birth last night and she didn’t tell me. And he wasn’t breathing when she gave birth.
‘She thought he had died so she hid it.’
Asked what colour Stanley was, Mayo’s mother replied: ‘No. He’s just cold. He’s cold. He’s cold.’
She added: ‘I’ve wrapped him up.’
She again wept uncontrollably as she described Stanley as stiff.
‘She kept saying, yesterday, she had really bad stomach cramps,’ added Mayo’s mother.
Asked to confirm if her daughter knew she was pregnant, she replied: ‘No.’
Moments before paramedics arrived, she was heard asking Mayo: ‘Why didn’t you tell me?
‘You know you could have told me. You know it doesn’t matter. Why? Why? Why?
‘Why? I don’t understand. Why didn’t you come and get me?
‘You know I would have, darling. You know.’
Paramedic Avril Lowe told the jury what Mayo had told her shortly after 8.30am on March 24 2019.
The conversation happened after Mayo’s mother had summoned the emergency services, having found baby Stanley’s lifeless body in a bin liner on the front doorstep of the family home.
Mr Hankin then asked: ‘You recorded, she, Paris said she was ‘hoping her mum would think the bag was rubbish and throw it out’?’
‘It was something she volunteered,’ said Ms Lowe.
The West Midlands Ambulance Service medic said she could ‘not exactly’ recall Mayo’s precise form of words, but that ‘she did say that to me’.
The Crown alleges Stanley suffered a fractured skull, possibly caused by Mayo’s foot on his head, before she then stuffed five pieces of cotton wool into his mouth – two of which were found deep in the throat.
Mayo, of Ruardean, Gloucestershire denies wrongdoing and the trial, expected to last six weeks, continues.
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