Harlow Collinge: Childminder Karen Foster admits killing baby boy with 'forceful shaking'

A childminder has pleaded guilty to killing a nine-month-old boy.

Karen Foster, 62, was due to go on trial at Preston Crown Court for the murder of nine-month-old Harlow Collinge.

Foster had previously denied murder but the prosecution accepted her manslaughter plea today.

The baby died in hospital after emergency services were called to an address in Hapton, Lancashire, in March 2022.

The basis of her manslaughter plea was that "forceful shaking" of Harlow caused his death after he had toppled over out of his high chair, began crying and she shook him in frustration, the court heard.

Harlow had been dropped off at the defendant's address in Hapton on 1 March 2022.

Later that day she called 999 and told the operator that Harlow was not breathing, the court was told, and went on to inform a paramedic he had suddenly collapsed.

Harlow was rushed to hospital but died four days later.

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'Healthy and happy boy'

The court heard a CT scan of the infant's head showed significant injuries to the brain, with bleeding on both sides and swelling.

Harlow had been described as a "healthy and happy boy" prior to the traumatic injuries he suffered.

Mr Justice Cotter addressed the defendant after her plea, saying: "I am sure you have been advised that the likely sentence is one of a substantial period in custody and you should be well aware of that."

Foster, a registered childminder with nine years' experience, was further remanded in custody ahead of sentencing next Thursday.

She also faced a further allegation of assaulting a two-year-old girl in her care in 2019.

The prosecution told the judge it will ask for that count to lie on file.