A HAMPSHIRE woman has today been convicted of killing her six-week-old baby.

Following a month-long trial at Winchester Crown Court, Chelsea Cuthbertson was cleared of murdering Malakai Watts, but was found guilty of manslaughter.

Cuthbertson, 28, was remanded in custody and will be sentenced on Thursday.

Malakai was rushed to hospital after paramedics were called to the family's Hythe flat. He was placed in a medically-induced coma at the paediatric intensive care unit at Southampton General Hospital after the incident on February 2 2019.

He died four days later following a decision to turn off his life support.

Daily Echo: Chelsea CuthbertsonChelsea Cuthbertson


Sally Howes QC, prosecuting, told the court that a post-mortem examination showed Malakai died of a traumatic head injury likely to have been caused by shaking, possibly involving an impact.

He also had eight rib fractures, with one having happened on an earlier occasion than the other seven, the court heard.

Ms Howes said Cuthbertson was frustrated with her partner, Del Watts, because she felt he did not help around the house, particularly when he returned to work shortly after Malakai was born.

Some of the defendant's text messages were read out in court by Ms Howes.

They said: "I'm sick of doing everything and being in all the time", "my home isn't a hotel and it's just going back to when you lived here before" and "people make time for their family, you never do".

Daily Echo: The family’s two-bedroom flat in Hythe The family’s two-bedroom flat in Hythe

The court heard that the couple argued the night before Malakai stopped breathing and in the morning shortly before Cuthbertson called an ambulance.

Ms Howes said: "Her resentment and anger reached such a point that morning that she took it out on Malakai, squeezing him around the chest, shaking him and then causing an impact to his head.

"Her intention at that time must have been to cause him harm even if the catalyst was to take out her resentment on him."

But Cuthbertson denied deliberately harming Malakai or shaking him.

Giving her version of events she said she went outside at 9am on February 2 and smoked a joint as well as looking at Facebook on her phone.

She went back inside and prepared baby milk for Malakai. When she went into the bedroom he was blue and she dialled 999.

Cuthbertson said she carried out CPR chest compressions until a paramedic arrived. Asked if she knew what was wrong with Malakai, or what had happened to him, she replied: "No".

Today the jury cleared her of murder after deliberating for 12 hours and 26 minutes.

They then retired again after being asked to deliberate on an alternative charge of manslaughter. More than an hour later they returned to deliver their "guilty" verdict.

Speaking after the case Detective Inspector Toby Elcock, the Senior Investigating Officer, said: “We hope that today’s result brings closure, but also some level of comfort to Malakai’s family, as they now know that the person responsible for his death has been brought to justice. 

“My team and I have put Malakai at the heart of our investigation and we have worked tirelessly over the last couple of years to hold responsible the person who brought about Malakai’s death.

“Malakai’s mother has never admitted her involvement so we welcome the jury’s decision today to convict Chelsea Louise Cuthbertson.  

“I would like to further extend my sincere condolences to Malakai’s family, and all those who knew him, for their loss.”