A mother and her lesbian lover appeared in court yesterday to deny murdering her two-year-old son, blaming his death on a seven-year-old boy.
Rachael Fee, 31, and Nyomi Fee, 28, are accused of beating Liam Johnson, or Fee, to death over eight days in 2014 then trying to frame a schoolboy for the death.
The couple, who appeared at the High Court in Glasgow, are also charged with ill-treating and neglecting two boys, who cannot be named for legal reasons, over a two-year period.
The women denied all charges and will go on trial next year.
Brian McConnachie, QC, representing Rachael Fee, also known as Rachael Trelfa, and Mark Stewart, QC, representing Nyomi Fee, both tendered not guilty pleas on their client’s behalf.
Rachael Fee and Nyomi Fee, who are in a civil partnership, deny murdering Liam by repeatedly inflicting blunt force trauma to his head and body by unknown means in Thornton, Fife, on various occasions between March 15 and 22, 2014.
They also pleaded not guilty to attempting to defeat the end of justice by falsely telling a 999 operator, ambulance staff, police, friends and family members that a seven-year-old boy was responsible for Liam’s death.
It is alleged that on various occasions between January 2012 and March 2014 they failed to provide Liam with adequate exercise or mental stimulation by leaving him in his pushchair for prolonged periods and putting a blanket over his face and leaving him in a darkened room.
It is claimed they failed to provide him with enough food and gave him medicine intended for another child and Calpol to keep him quiet and make him sleep.
The women, now of Ryton, County Durham, also deny harming two boys from January 2012 to March 2014.
It is alleged they compelled one of the boys to stand naked under a cold shower as a punishment for wetting the bed, bound him in a cage made from a metal fireguard, with cable ties, string, and a dressing gown cord, placed items on him and struck him.
It is alleged they forced the boy’s hand into the mouth of Liam, who was dead, on March 22, last year, before the arrival of the police and paramedics.
The women are accused of tying the second boy naked to a chair in their bedroom where they kept rats and snakes, and slapping him if he moved.
Both women are on bail and trial was set for April 4 next year at the High Court in Livingston by judge Lady Rae.
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