June 2023

Paris Mayo jailed for murder of newborn son

A teenage girl who gave birth aged 15 then suffocated her baby son before dumping his body in a bin bag has been jailed for murder.

Paris Mayo, now 19, had taken a warm bath believing she had period pains when she “unexpectedly” went into labour.

She gave birth to the baby, named Stanley, in the living room of her family home in Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire, while her mum tended to her sick dad upstairs.

Mayo then assaulted the baby by possibly using her foot to fracture his skull, before stuffing cotton wool balls into his throat to suffocate him when she realised he was still alive.

She has now been jailed for a minimum of 12 years after being convicted of murder.

Sentencing, Mr Justice Garnham said: “Killing your baby son was a truly dreadful thing to do.

“A human being is probably never more vulnerable that at the time of their birth.”

Worcester Crown Court heard how after killing the baby, Mayo messaged her older brother, saying: “When you go outside, can you put the black bag in the bin, it’s just full of sick from last night, please.”

But when Mayo’s mum looked inside, she screamed out hysterically “there’s a baby in the bag”.

In a ten-minute 999, the mum could be heard sobbing uncontrollably and retching repeatedly.

She told operators: “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.”

She then replied: “Yes. Yes,” and broke down into tears when asked if Stanley was dead.

“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 mum replied: “No. He’s just cold. He’s cold. He’s cold.”

She added: “I’ve wrapped him up.”

The mum wept uncontrollably again as she described baby Stanley as stiff.

Paramedics arrived and found Mayo in the house sitting with her mum holding the baby, who was “wrapped in a sheet” and showed no signs of life”

The teen said she didn’t know she was pregnant and the baby had “all of a sudden just popped out”.

She had hoped her mum would think the newborn was “rubbish” and “throw it out”.

Mayo was later heard asking “Is it my fault? Did I do this?”, and later “It’s my fault, it’s my fault” as the family travelled to hospital.

Once there, a police officer overheard her saying “I hate the newborn cry”.

The court was told baby Stanley was born full-term or nearly full-term on the night of March 23, 2019.

A post mortem found he suffocated after a piece of cotton wool blocked his oesophagus.

The material had been forced so deeply down his neck that it was only discovered at autopsy.

Medics also found Stanley “may have suffered a significant crush injury to his head from opposite sides, for example, beneath her foot”.

He had two large, complex fractures to either side of the skull, as a result of inflicted and “non-accidental” injury, caused by “blunt-force trauma”, doctors concluded.

A consultant neonatologist found that with “timely medical intervention…he would have been expected to survive”.

Mayo claims the baby was not moving or breathing after she gave birth and she used cotton wool to clean up “stuff” coming out of its mouth.

She told officers: “I don’t remember putting five pieces in there and I didn’t shove my fingers down his throat and put them there.

“I was panicking and I just didn’t know what else to do, and that was the first thing that came into my head, but I didn’t shove them down there, I might have been panicking, but I’m not stupid… that’s not what I would have wanted.”