A mum accused of murdering her own toddler has told a court she felt ashamed when she realised the extent of burns she says she accidentally inflicted to him in the shower.

Christina Robinson, 30, is on trial accused of murdering her son Dwelaniyah at their family home in on Ushaw Moor, County Durham on November 5, 2022, and a charge of child neglect. She denies both charges.

After his death the three-year-old was found with 15 to 20% burns to his body, around his legs, buttocks and genitals, the court previously heard.

Giving evidence for the first time in the trial at Newcastle Crown Court Robinson, who said she wanted more than 10 children, refuted the prosecution’s case that she “deliberately immersed” him in “scalding” water.

Robinson, who had worked as a personal trainer before falling pregnant with Dwelaniyah, told the court she planned to shower the tot after he soiled himself on the morning of October 19, 2022.

“He had soiled himself and my intention was to clean him, to rinse him off with the shower,” she said.

She explained the shower at their Bracken Court home would get “very very hot regardless of where the tap was positioned.”

She told jurors she put him in the shower and undressed his lower body before pointing the shower at him. She said she did not realise the water had got too hot and burned the toddler until later.

The court heard Dwelaniyah had a ‘fear of the shower head’ and so was “already screaming before the shower was turned on” which meant “there was no indicators” he was being burnt.

Robinson said: “Gabriel (her husband) used to shower the boys. I always would say there's no such thing as a baby shower for a reason, there are only baby baths. Whenever he would shower them because it got in their face and up, they didn't like it.

"The water did get very very hot regardless of where the tap was positioned, What would have happened is it would have just increased in temperature.

"I didn't see any burns at the time. He was also already screaming before the shower was turned on so there were no indicators."

Questioned by defence barrister Jamie Hill KC as to when she first saw the burns and whether she thought of asking for help she said she did not see any burns until a minute or so after.

"His skin had changed colour. Like a red-ish purple, burgundy,” she told the court.

Asked whether she thought about calling for help she said: "No I did not. It didn't look bad at all."

The court heard it wasn’t until three days later Robinson realised the severity of his injuries.

The former mobile hairdresser said: “When I had realised the actual damage and extent of the burns by that time so many days had passed and I just felt ashamed. I felt really bad for what I had done.

“I already felt ashamed at the time when it happened, I didn’t mean to do this to him.

“As it got worse and worse, it just looked really bad.

“I knew how it would look. It would look really bad. I felt really really bad.

“I took it upon myself, I am responsible for doing this by accident to him it’s my responsibility to take care of it.

“Over time as it got worse that didn’t change, I still felt it upon myself to take care of them because of the situation and the fact I felt so bad.

“I just went straight into take care mode."

The court heard she had ordered bandages, dressings and medicine online in the days between October 19 and October 22, 2022 and had also made searches for burns treatments.

But Robinson said at that time she still hadn’t realised the extent of the burns, adding the supplies were to restock her home first aid kit.

The court heard she rang Dwelaniyah's nursery on October 19, the day she says the burns were inflicted but did not tell staff of the injuries as she “didn't want to tell them personal information” at that time.

The prosecution alleged she made up car troubles when she later called the nursery again to say she couldn’t make it to drop him off, something Robinson denied. She told the court: "No, that's not true. There was a genuine issue with the car."

She said it had developed an intermittent rattle but had not had the car seen by a professional as it "wasn't [her] car and [she] didn't have the money".

The married defendant, who is originally from Tamworth, admitted she previously left the children home alone, saying it was “the norm” in their house. She has said she "simply wasn't aware" it was the wrong thing to do.

"It was something that was commonly done unfortunately. Not the best of ideas obviously...”, she said.

She claimed husband Gabriel had previously hit the children with his shoes, a sandal, slippers, utensils and a piece of wood to discipline them.

Robinson told the jury that after one occasion, she had told her husband “that was unnecessary” but that “it was as if what I had said did not matter”.