Co-accused claims he made up a story to protect his Doncaster partner after her toddler was allegedly murdered

The partner of the mother of a toddler who was allegedly murdered by the couple has claimed he made up a story to protect her.

By Jon Cooper
Wednesday, 28th October 2020, 9:22 am

A Sheffield Crown Court trial has heard how Sarah O’Brien, aged 33, of Bosworth Road, Doncaster, and her partner Martin Currie, 36, of no fixed abode, have denied murdering Ms O’Brien’s two-year-old son Keigan O’Brien after he died from head injuries on January 9.

Miss O’Brien said she had returned home on January 8 after taking Keigan’s siblings to school when Martin Currie called her upstairs later that morning and she saw the toddler on his bedroom floor and she called 999 and the youngster was pronounced dead the following day.

However, Christopher Tehrani QC, defending Mr Currie, claimed Mr Currie had confronted Miss O’Brien when he found Keigan much earlier that morning but Mr Currie had been prepared to concoct a story to save her.

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Pictured is toddler Keigan O'Brien, of Doncaster, who was allegedly murdered by his mother Sarah O'Brien and her partner Martin Currie after the two-year-old suffered head injuries in January.

Mr Currie told the court on October 27 he had found Keigan collapsed in his bed about 8.55am, on January 8, before he was taken to hospital and pronounced dead on January 9.

He said: “I pulled the covers back and turned him over and he flopped. I thought he was dead because he was cold.”

Mr Currie added: “He was bluish. His lips were blue. He was pale, very pale. I put him on the floor and tried CPR.”

He said blood came out of Keigan’s mouth and he was gurgling and Mr Currie made internet searches for advice but he did not call 999.

Mr Currie said: “I panicked because I had been left on my own with him and I know how it looks. I have got to live with that for the rest of my life. The finger being pointed at me like it already is.”

He added: “I confronted Sarah and said, ‘what have you done?’, and she said, ‘I’m sorry and I didn’t mean to’.

"I said, ‘you know I’m going to get blamed for this?’. She was hysterical.”

Mr Currie described Sarah O’Brien’s account that she had returned home, done chores, sat down with a cup of tea and had fallen asleep before Mr Currie called her upstairs later that morning to find Keigan lifeless as “lies”.

He claimed he had originally wanted to make up a story because he had loved her and he had wanted to protect her but he now regrets lying to police and doctors to protect Miss O’Brien but he was now telling the truth.

He said: “I should have told them the truth about what happened.”

The court heard bruises and marks were also found on Keigan’s body as well as fractures to his vertebrae, ribs and a wrist.

Mr Currie said he would never hit a child and claimed he had never hit Keigan and although he had been in love with Sarah O’Brien, that changed after he became aware of the extent of the injuries the toddler had suffered.

Miss O’Brien and Mr Currie have also denied causing cruelty to a child by ill-treatment or neglect, and both also deny individual counts of causing or allowing the death of a child.

The trial continues.

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