The neighbour of a babysitter accused of repeatedly shaking a young child has described seeing the “distressed” woman holding the infant and shouting for help.
The child was rushed to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary on New Year’s Day 2017 with bleeding on her brain and in her eyes.
Babysitter Syeda Sokina Begum, 29, is on trial accused of repeatedly shaking the child, who cannot be named for legal reasons, to her “severe injury, permanent impairment and danger of her life”. She denies the charges.
Giving evidence at the High Court in Aberdeen, Stephen Gavin, who lived in the same building as Begum, described seeing her holding the infant and shouting for help.
Advocate depute Martin Richardson asked Mr Gavin about what he saw when he left his flat and went out on to the landing at around 9.30pm on January 1 2017.
Mr Gavin said: “I heard some crying and Ms Begum was holding a child, extremely distressed.”
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Asked what she did next, Mr Gavin said: “Ms Begum was running towards the front door. I heard her shout that she didn’t think the infant was breathing and we need an ambulance.
“It was a very distressing situation.”
Frances Connor, representing Begum, asked the witness: “Did it seem to you that she knew what had happened to the child?”
Mr Gavin replied: “No, certainly not.”
She said: “Did it seem to you her distress was genuine?”
He replied: “Yes, 100%.”
She asked him: “Did you have any doubt what she was trying to do was help that small child?”
The witness said: “No.”
Begum, of Headland Court, Aberdeen, had been employed by the child’s parents for a number of months so they could run their small business.
The trial, before Lord Uist, continues.