UK & World News
Baby Killed By Falling TV: Mother Not To Blame
A mother has been cleared of killing her four-month-old son after a five-stone television fell on his head as he was lying on his changing mat.
Kian McMillan suffered "catastrophic injuries" and died a day later in hospital.
His mother, Natalie McMillan, who was found to have heroin and valium in her system at the time, denied injuring her son.
She told police that she had accidentally knocked over the television as she attempted to plug in a lead so that she could watch a DVD.
The 25-year-old told officers that she had "never hurt my son on purpose... all because I wanted to watch a film".
McMillan was charged with manslaughter by gross negligence and child neglect but a jury at Preston Crown Court returned a not guilty verdict on the first count.
She admitted neglect part way through the trial as she changed her version of events and attempted to shift the blame to the boy's father.
McMillan claimed her former partner, Edward Hanratty, 41, was the person responsible for the television falling and that she was upstairs in bed when it happened.
Hanratty also admitted neglect after he gave evidence.
The prosecution had alleged McMillan was responsible for the television toppling while Hanratty was passed out on the kitchen floor through drink and drugs.
She said she decided to accept the blame on his behalf from the moment she made the 999 call from the address in Burnley because she was scared of him.
Prosecutor Suzanne Goddard QC said this was "nonsense" and that she was lying.
Peter Wright QC, defending McMillan, told jurors they were not being asked to determine if his client was a good mother.
The relevant questions were was she responsible for the television falling and if so was her behaviour so grossly negligent that it was "truly exceptionally bad" rather than a mistake or a serious error of judgement.
The jury took less than four hours to reach its verdict.
The couple will be sentenced on January 31.