Teenage mother who killed her 38-day-old baby son with paracetamol overdose after giving birth at age 16 is jailed for five years
- Ellie Jacobs pleaded guilty to manslaughter and also admitted child cruelty
- Her son died after crushed paracetamol pills had been added to his bottle
A teenage mother who killed her 38-day-old baby son with a paracetamol overdose was sentenced to five years in prison today.
Ellie Jacobs, 19, gave birth to Archie Jacobs while she was living on a caravan site at Biddlesden, near Buckingham, in April 2020. She was 16 years old.
Archie died about five weeks later after crushed paracetamol pills had been added to his bottle.
Jacobs had denied charges of murder and child cruelty at the start of her trial at Luton Crown Court earlier this month. But she later pleaded guilty to manslaughter and also admitted child cruelty.
Today she was sentenced to five years for manslaughter and 18 months for child cruelty, to run concurrently.
Bedfordshire Police Detective Chief Inspector Will Crowther said it was ‘very sad case’ but noted he was pleased that Jacobs accepted responsibility for causing Archie’s death.
Ellie Jacobs, 19, (pictured) was sentenced to five years in prison today for killing her 38-day-old baby son with a paracetamol overdose
Jacobs had denied charges of murder and child cruelty at the start of her trial at Luton Crown Court (pictured) earlier this month. But she later pleaded guilty to manslaughter and also admitted child cruelty
Archie was born on April 28, 2020 and died from a paracetamol overdose on June 5 that year – when he was just five weeks old.
‘Crushed up, adult paracetamol tablets were added to his bottle some time from the evening of 4th June or into the early hours of the 5th,’ Prosecutor Jane Bickerstaff KC told the court.
Jacobs had admitted only adding a pinch of paracetamol.
When Archie’s body was examined, it was found he had two sets of fractures – one to his right tibia and four to the big toe of his right foot. They were caused three to seven days before his death.
Jacobs’ partner, understood to be called Jay, had moved out just days before she gave birth and Archie had been placed on a Child Protection Plan.
Her mother Sarah Jacobs and stepfather lived on the caravan site. The mother had supported her daughter and grandson, but she was killed in a road crash on May 10, 2020.
Ms Bickerstaff KC said: ‘Following the death of her mother, Ellie Jacobs received offers from family friends, and from family, for herself and Archie to live with them, but she declined and also declined assistance from Social Services to go and stay at a mother and baby unit and she remained living at the caravan with Archie. ‘
She had regular contact with a social worker, the nurse, and the midwife but as Archie was born during the first Covid lockdown, some of the contact was via videocall.
A social worker conducted weekly visits, despite the pandemic. She noted the caravan was clean but cluttered with a lot of animals that made the place look ‘busy’ but there was no smell in the caravan.
The police found a diary in the caravan in which Jacobs had written, less than two weeks before Archie’s death: ‘I don’t know how much longer I can keep up this act of being ok. I don’t even know what it feels like to be ok anymore. I don’t think I will ever feel that again. I mean I feel like I’ve (sic) everything, even my home which is crazy because I have a roof over my head but this place just doesn’t feel like home. I don’t know where home is anymore.
‘My home was always where my mum was. As long as I had my mum I was ok.’
She went on: ‘I hate every single second I spend on this earth without her. It doesn’t feel real, I wish this was all a nightmare and that soon I am going to wake up with my life back with my mum by my side because I am seriously starting to struggle with everything.
Jacobs’ mother Sarah (left) died just days after the then-16-year-old gave birth. Jacobs (right) said: ‘I hate every single second I spend on this earth without her. It doesn’t feel real, I wish this was all a nightmare and that soon I am going to wake up with my life back with my mum by my side because I am seriously starting to struggle with everything’
‘I hate myself so much because every time I look over at Archie I feel absolute nothing, when he cries I just don’t care, and when Kelly my neighbour takes him off my hands for a couple of hours to give me a break, I deep down hope for that break to never end.
‘I don’t know if it’s right but when I am away from Archie I don’t miss him at all I just feel a weight lifted from my shoulders. I have no clue if it’s just because I have a lot going on right now and I am struggling without my mum, or if it’s because of Jay because Archie is a reminder of Jay and all the hurt he caused me emotionally and physically!’
After Archie’s death a baby’s bottle was examined and contained evidence that suggested 6 crushed tablets had been added to it.
When questioned Jacobs said she had only added a ‘pinch’ of paracetamol to the bottle.
Detective Chief Inspector Will Crowther, of the Major Crime Unit, said today: ‘This is a very sad case, where a five-week-old boy lost his life.
‘I am pleased that Ellie Jacobs finally accepted responsibility for causing Archie’s death and for the significant injuries to Archie which he received in the days leading up to his death.
‘I am hoping this guilty plea will help the rest of Archie’s family move forward following these tragic circumstances.’
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