The mother of a toddler who died after suffering head injuries gave a ‘no comment’ interview when she was quizzed by detectives.

Dana Carr was interviewed several times by police investigating the death of two-year-old Maya Chappell but in one she gave the same reply to the vast majority of questions.

Her partner, Michael Daymond, is accused of murdering the toddler in September last year.

Teesside Crown Court heard how the 24-year-old left her daughter with her new partner when she went to work.

Within hours, Daymond was on the phone to her telling her that her daughter was ‘gasping for breath’ and had called emergency services.

The Northern Echo: Maya ChappellMaya Chappell (Image: Durham Constabulary)

In earlier interviews, Carr gave details of her relationship with Daymond and her former partner James Chappell but on October 6 – just a week after Maya’s death – she was less forthcoming.

Throughout the interview under caution, Carr replied no comment to a series of questions relating to injuries Maya suffered when she fell down a slide.

Detectives continued to ask Carr about any incidents in August but again she continued to respond 'no comment' to all questions.

Benjamin Nolan KC, prosecuting, had told the jury how Carr sent Daymond messages to the effect “I’m coming”, “please don’t leave me” and “are you ok”. Not a single message asking about Maya.

Detective Constable Alex Simms, the Durham Constabulary officer in charge of the case, said phone records showed that Carr and Daymond were in regular contact throughout the morning Maya suffered her injuries.

The Northern Echo: Floral tributes laid at the home of Maya ChappellFloral tributes laid at the home of Maya Chappell (Image: NORTHERN ECHO)

Jurors watched a video of Maya trying to climb into a small storage unit which officers believe that Daymond filmed. He sent it to Carr's stepfather Chris Fellows.

Daymond also sent it to Carr and she replied - “wtf”, i.e., “what the f***”. There then followed a number of calls and texts between the couple.

One call lasted for around 18 minutes while Carr was working in the Stockton area.

A short while later, Daymond sent Carr a photograph of Maya in bed with an accompanying text stating “them little marks are sauce”.

Carr replies that Maya looks 'fuming'.

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Earlier in the trial, jurors heard how Maya suffered significant head injuries on September 28 last year and despite their best-efforts medical staff, she died two days later without ever regaining consciousness.

Daymond, formerly of Shotton Colliery, County Durham, has pleaded not guilty to murder and a second charge of cruelty to a child.

Twenty-four-year-old Carr, also formerly of Shotton Colliery, denies child cruelty and allowing the death of a child.

The trial continues.