Shauna Donnelly: Murder accused speaks of her relief at not guilty verdict

THE young mother accused of murdering her own baby son has spoken of the impact the charge has had on her life.

Shauna Donnelly was arrested following a lengthy police investigation after she attended Middlesbrough’s James Cook University Hospital with her lifeless son, Ellis, in October 2019.

This morning, she was cleared of murder after the Crown Prosecution Service offered no evidence after medical expert advice showed their was no evidence of ‘no evidence of assault or trauma’. 

Judge Stephen Ashurst formally declared the 25-year-old not guilty.

Following the hearing, Miss Donnelly, issued a statement via her solicitor, said: “I knew I hadn’t done anything wrong but nobody seemed to believe me. I honestly thought I was going to prison for the rest of my life.

“I couldn’t think about anything else and even now I know the judge and the barristers know I didn’t do anything, people still shout things at me and people still talk about me.

“The total strangers, who made comments on the newspaper articles threatening to do all sorts of awful things to me should listen to what the judge has said today about me being innocent of this and not say such nasty things about people in the future.

“It’s as if I won’t ever be able to get rid of the photo of me as “that one who killed her baby”. It felt awful but now I’m finally able to move forward with my life.”

Eric Watson, solicitor and director at Watson Woodhouse Law Firm, said: “Shauna Donnely was the victim of the worst tragedy that could befall a new mother.

“Not only did she have to cope with the death of her child she also had to deal with appalling online abuse from members of the public who knew nothing of her case.

“This case is relevant to every parent, to expectant couples, and potential new mums, this could have happened to any member of the public.

“Instead of celebrating a significant life moment in her adult life, she has spent the past year dealing with cruel allegations that she murdered her baby.

“It is hoped that today’s decision will draw a line under this, to permit Shauna the space to finally grieve and to allow her to move on with her life.”

The Northern Echo | Teesside