July 2022

Perry Barr neighbours describe binges of mum who beat baby

A baby’s tragic abuse was discovered after a ‘binge-drinking’ mother walked off from a pram outside ASDA.

Julija Priadina downed wine whilst walking around the supermarket in Great Barr where she drew the attention of security staff, who concluded she was intoxicated and were shocked to see she had a young infant in her care.

As she left the store the 32-year-old Russian national took another swig of alcohol and then walked out into the road forcing traffic to stop for her and the buggy.

She then sat on some steps before disappearing from sight, leaving her baby unattended for over a minute, prompting a vigilant security guard to rush to the tot’s aid.

Emergency services arrived and Priadina, who had returned and tried to stop them assessing her baby, was arrested.

Later in hospital a horrific catalogue of 32 injuries was discovered all over the three-month-old’s body including bruises, cuts and bleeding within the brain while the youngster’s left eye was unable to fully open.

It would later emerge Priadina had violently beaten her baby as she descended into a ‘catastrophic breakdown into alcohol abuse’.

The former Jaguar Land Rover worker, of Skipton Road, Ladywood, went on to admit child cruelty and wounding with intent to do grievous bodily harm.

She was sentenced to three years, nine months in January but it is only now we can tell the full story, after the baby’s father Shoja-ul-din Omrany was cleared of a single count of child cruelty.

The 54-year-old had denied willfully neglecting the child by failing to seek medical attention.

Following a four-day trial at Birmingham Crown Court a jury took less than two hours on Thursday, July 14 to unanimously find him not guilty of the offence.

During the proceedings Judge Richard Bond granted an application for reporting restrictions to be amended, meaning Priadina can no longer benefit from the legal anonymity granted to her baby and we can report the harrowing details of the case in full.

The couple visited the ASDA Queslett store around 3pm on Saturday, April 25, 2020, after the first national Covid-19 lockdown had been imposed.

CCTV captured them arguing in an isle as Priadina drank from a wine bottle.

At one stage Priadina pushed the pram, with her baby inside, away from her causing it to hit a set of racks.

A few minutes later security staff were alerted to an altercation between the mum and another lady at the self-service checkouts, which was said to be over ‘social distancing’.

Prosecutor Nina Ellin said: “A security officer noted that the defendant had two bottles of wine on the conveyor belt and one of those was half empty.

“Looking at this defendant she formed the view she was intoxicated; slurring her words and was unsteady on her feet.

She was struggling to see and put money in the cashpoint. She was shocked this defendant had a child in her care.”

The prosecutor added: “She watched as the defendant left the store and noticed the defendant stopped to drink wine from one of the bottles as she was leaving.

She also watched her cross the road without appearing to stop for the traffic. The traffic had to stop for her. She was pushing the pram at all times.

“As a result of her actions the security officer contacted 999 and continued to watch the defendant as she went into the road.

Having crossed the road the defendant then walked away from the pram leaving the baby in the pram. She was away for about one and a half minutes.

The security officer walked across the road towards the pram then the defendant returned. The police then arrived.”

A blood sample revealed Priadina had consumed so much alcohol she would have been approximately three and half times over the drink-drive limit.

Her baby appeared to be hungry and needing a nappy change, although no food or nappies were in the pram.

The child was taken to hospital and was assessed as being ‘genuinely well kept’ and ‘well nourished’ but for the alarming number of injuries discovered.

Experts concluded they had been ‘inflicted’ and were ‘non-accidental’ with the significant head injuries in particular pointing to a shaking incident with an impact component.

Priadina had stayed at a homeless centre for a period before moving back into Mr Omrany’s flat in Perry Barr on April 16 that year.

Ms Ellin said: “Statements from neighbours about the two of them said there had been problems over the years particularly in relation to noise and arguments, shouting, screaming and banging around, describing wine bottles and cans thrown out of the window and into the garden.

“One neighbour describes Priadina as a binge drinker. When she is not drunk she is shy and quiet but when drunk the whole block knows about it.

Another neighbour states the defendant can’t handle her alcohol. She is abusive to her partner when she’s drunk. They lock each other out of the flat and shout.”

During her police interview Priadina concocted a lie that she had invited two men into her flat, left her baby alone with them while she went to buy alcohol only to discover the bruises to her child the next morning.

But CCTV footage unravelled the false account and established she was alone with her baby in the flat on the night of Friday, April 24.

She later confessed she found it difficult having a baby without ‘any help from anyone’ adding she ‘didn’t know how to look after’ her child.

Shown photographs of the tot’s injuries she said: “I don’t want to look at them they make me feel bad.”

Judge Roderick Henderson, passing sentence, said: “This was arguably a life-threatening injury and the truth of this is this was a disastrous period of a few days where an otherwise good mother lost complete control because you had a very serious drink problem at the time.”

Mr Omrany, giving evidence at his trial via a Farsi interpreter, told the court he had been in a relationship with Priadina for six years prior to April 2020.

He stated he ran a grocery shop and had offered to pay for someone to assist his partner look after the baby if she was ‘struggling’.

Mr Omrany said he returned home in the early afternoon of April 25 and noticed ‘redness’ and a bit of swelling to the baby’s face.

He told the jury he suggested taking the child to the doctors but Priadina, as well as his sister via a call from Iran, reassured him it was just an allergy so they went to ASDA to buy bedding and clothes instead.

Mr Omrany said: “I trusted her. As a mother she cares for her child. Even more than a father. That’s normal. Nevertheless I insisted taking (our baby) to the doctor. She kept saying there’s no need. Maybe this was my fault but I did believe her. I never expected that she was lying about her child.”