A murder-accused County Durham mum repeatedly told a court she did the best by her son despite not seeking treatment for extensive burns to his body, and caning him.

Christina Robinson, 30, today admitted to Newcastle Crown Court that she lied in police interviews but said she was “afraid” and worried no one would believe the truth.

Robinson, of Ushaw Moor, County Durham, denied shaking her eldest son Dwelaniyah, 3, at their home on Bracken Court in November 2022.

She stands trial accused of murder and a charge of child neglect, both of which she denies.

Being cross-examined by prosecutor Mr Richard Wright KC on Wednesday (March 13) afternoon she stood her claims she did the best by her son.

Pressing on a series of alleged failings including failing to take him to hospital for burns, leaving him home alone, and beating him Mr Wright asked, "Do you stand by that was a product of you doing your best for that child?

Robinson replied: "I absolutely should have taken him to the hospital, I really should have, and as I said I was misguided by the scriptures (on caning him) but other than that I did do the very best by my child."

Mr Wright continued: “You know, don’t you, you failed him completely?”

She responded: “I did the best I could for my child, and I stand by that.”

It comes as she admitted to lying in police interviews. The trial previously heard how she told officers Dwelaniyah had been skipping and riding his bike despite his burns.

She told the jury: "I had never been arrested before, I was ashamed.

“I was afraid.

"The part about him recovering well (was true), but no he wasn't skipping, I did lie about that.

"He hadn't ridden the bike outdoors."

Questioned by defence barrister Mr Jamie Hill KC about why she lied to police about how her son sustained his burns, claiming he was playing in the shower, she said: "This was the account that I had given to Innocent, the account that Gabriel had overheard. It was just the account that I stuck to.

"It wasn't true. It was true but it wasn't how he had received the burns. I just felt bad.

"I did not deliberately burn my child. I did not.”

She told the trial this morning she had been intending to clean him of faeces after he soiled himself when she accidentally inflicted the burns with hot shower water.

The prosecution alleges both accounts are lies, instead saying she deliberately immersed him in scalding water.

Robinson told the court of two falls she says Dwelaniyah had on the day of his death, November 5, 2022.

She said: "He fell off the toilet. He wasn't balanced, he just sort of fell. He fell face first. He couldn't get back up himself, I had to put him back up."

She told the court he later fell in the living room after coming back from the toilet and "faceplanted", landing "face first". She said he seemed a bit dazed and "took a while to get back up" but returned to normal.

The defendant, who is a follower of the Black Hebrew Israelites religion, admitted hitting Dwelaniyah with a cane on the day he died and said she had been watching religious teachings which mentioned chastising.

“They had quoted certain scriptures which did promote using the rod for correction, so it stemmed from there,” she said.

“I didn’t know what I was doing, I thought I was doing it right. I just really wanted to be obedient to God and I thought this was part of it.”

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She had said it was the first time she had caned him on the day of his death but later had to admit when cross-examined she had previously used a spoon to hit him too.

"I am sorry, I had used the spoon. I do apologise, I had," she told the jury.

The trial continues on Thursday.