The birth mother of Leiland-James Corkill said her baby boy was ‘placed in the home of a monster’ after his killer was jailed for life. Laura Corkill, 38, penned a heartbreaking letter asking the judge to pass the longest sentence possible for her ‘beautiful, blue eyed boy’, LancsLive reports.
On Wednesday his killer Laura Castle, who wanted to adopt the 13-month-old baby, was jailed for life. Leiland-James was removed from his mother and placed into temporary foster care, two days after his birth on December 21, 2019.
Readmore: Woman jailed for life for murdering boy she was hoping to adopt
He lived happily with his foster mum, Charlotte Day, enjoying cuddles and stories, and playing in his Jumparoo bouncer. But in July 2020, the family court ruled Leiland-James was to be adopted – and Laura and Scott Castle were a suitable match.
Tragically, Laura Castle lied to social workers, claiming she did not believe in using physical chastisement and promising to continue using the name given to Leiland-James by his mum. Within weeks, Castle had started referring to the baby as simply ‘James’—and in cruel text messages sent to her husband de Ella Scott, 34, she called him ‘top t**t’, ‘devils spawn’ and ‘knobhead. ‘
On January 6, 2021, Laura Castle shook Leiland-James violently, causing catastrophic injuries to his brain, spine and eyes. Emergency services were called to the family home in Barrow-in-Furness and the baby was taken to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, but she never regained consciousness.
Leiland-James was kept on life support for his birth mother to say her last goodbyes. As Laura Castle was sentenced to life in prison for murder, Laura Corkill wrote: “He was placed in the home of a monster, a monster that was meant to love, nurture and cherish him as I would have done.
“A monster that robbed Leiland-James at only 12 months old of his life, robbed me, his brother, sisters and my family of one day opening the door to the wonderful young man that I know he would have become. People say I am brave, I am not! I just exist to get justice for my son Leiland-James.
“Leiland-James was ripped from my loving arms, but I was always his mammy. I carried him with in my body for nine months with every beat of my heart full of love, full of pride, full of promise. My beautiful blue eyed baby.
“Love saw his first breath, evil took his last breath here on earth. Mammy was not ready to say goodbye, I will never be ready to say goodbye. I carry Leiland-James forever in my heart, I hear his cheeky laughter in the wind that blows, see his beautiful smile in my memories engrained within my soul, his photos on every wall.”
She said Leiland-James was a happy baby with a bright, beaming smile that brightened up the day. “Even on my worst days, he is my sunshine,” she said. “My son, Leiland-James visits in my dreams. He will always be by my side, safe forever now within my heart. No sentence will ever be enough, for the pain, trauma and brutality that was inflicted on his tiny baby body and mind of him
“Nothing will ever bring back my baby, nothing will ever reduce or take away that pain. The monster that scared and broke my baby boy’s body and mind will never have forgiveness this is something that she will carry for the rest of her days.”
On the first day of the trial, Laura Castle admitted shaking Leiland-James, later saying she just wanted justice for her boy. Laura Corkill said: “He was not and never will be your baby boy. You lost that right the first second it went through your head to hurt him.
“He was a precious baby, vulnerable and innocent, he had no voice, he could not defend himself. The names you called him and the hurt you caused him, the fact that you blamed him for your disgusting behavior and treatment of him.
“Leiland-James was a baby, a tiny baby. Shame! shame! on you, you are not a mother, you are a monster.”
Laura Castle sobbed loudly in the dock at Preston Crown Court as the court heard victim impact statements from Laura Corkill and Charlotte Day, Leiland-James’ foster mum who cared for him until he was seven months old. She was sentenced to life with a minimum term of 18 years for murdering Leiland-James.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.