I read your report 22nd June about the recent trial of Paris Mayo for the murder of her new born baby, four years ago when she was 15, where you reported that, before the jury retired to consider their verdict, the judge told them they could consider an alternative verdict of Infanticide.

You wrote: Trial judge Mr Justice Garnham told the jury before it retired yesterday (Wednesday, June 21): “In the event that you believe that Miss Mayo did cause the death of Stanley Mayo, you will be asked to consider if she did so whilst the balance of her mind was disturbed by reason of her not having fully recovered from the effect of giving birth."

Did the jury ever receive any more instruction about Infanticide other than this short statement?

Importantly, were the jury given training about the medical and psychological knowledge that:

  • Pregnancy Denial is a known mental state in a pregnant girl/woman, and well documented as a phenomenon which can lead to Infanticide?
  • That a verdict of Infanticide, as opposed to Murder, was recognised as an important part of UK law in the Court of Appeal as recently as 2019 where there was another case involving the brutal killing of a newborn baby to a woman who was older than this teen?

Given it is a complex subject for a jury to take in all in the one sentence you reported, was there any training of the jury to help them understand the issues?

“When a woman in denial of pregnancy is seen, she requires emergency psychiatric management to avert the possibility of neonatal killing”

Name provided, Newcastle-upon-Tyne