The brother of a woman accused of killing her newborn son after concealing her pregnancy told a trial that he noticed she was gaining weight but assumed she just had “big bones,” a jury heard today.
Paris Mayo, who is now 19 but was 15 at the time of the incident, is on trial for the murder of Stanley Mayo before she put him in a bin bag at her parents’ home in Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire, on March 23. , 2019.
She allegedly hid both her pregnancy and birth, alone and unaided, claiming she was unaware she was pregnant. Then she allegedly asked her brother George to get a garbage bag that felt “unusually heavy”.
George Mayo, now 20 but then 16, testified at her trial at Worcester Crown Court on Monday, describing how his sister “complained of pain” earlier on the day of the birth.
When asked by the judge, Mr Justice Garnham, if he had been ‘told anything about the cause of the pain’, Mr Mayo replied: ‘For me, aged 16, it was a female thing – I wanted nothing to do with it dealing. ‘
Paris Mayo (left) is on trial for the murder of Stanley Mayo before she put him in a bin bag outside her parents’ home in Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire, on March 23, 2019.
He described how Mayo then took a bath — her second of the day — at or shortly before 9 p.m., as he left the house to run an errand.
Mr. Mayo returned to the house he shared with his mother, father and sister around 10:30 pm.
The court previously heard that his parents were upstairs by then because his father Patrick Mayo – who jurors learned had died just 10 days after birth – was undergoing home dialysis.
Mr. Mayo had a police statement he made closer to the time read to him and agreed in court that Mayo told him on returning home that she had ‘blooded profusely – and was not allowed into a sitting room’.
“Did she tell you she’d clean up the mess herself?” Mr. Hankin asked, to which Mr. Mayo replied, “Yes.”
He then saw blood and described them as “stains the size of a 50 pence piece.”
After later bringing a cup of tea to his sister, then into bed, around midnight, he went back to his room and tried to sleep, but told the jurors, “I didn’t sleep very well.”
“I had a feeling something wasn’t right.”
The next morning, at 8:23 a.m., he received a text from his sister saying, “When you go out, can you put the black bag in the bin because it’s just full of last night’s sick, please?”
Mr. Mayo described coming across a garbage bag on the sidewalk outside and commenting that it was “unusually heavy” when he lifted it.
The Crown’s KC asked, “What did you see in the space under the bag after you lifted it (away from the front door)?”
“Stains of blood,” he replied.
His mother, standing next to him at the door and asking him to take out some rubbish, had also seen him try to lift the bag.
Mr. Hankin asked, “Did you (then) turn to see your mother standing on the doorstep, opening the unusually heavy and blood-stained bag?”
“What was her reaction?”
Mr. Mayo snapped his fingers in court for emphasis and said, “She just went hysterical.”
When asked by Mr. Hankin if he knew his sister was pregnant, he replied, “I had no idea at all.”
“I had noticed she had put on a bit of weight but thought it was because of our family…we all have big bones in our family,” he added.
During cross-examination by Mayo’s attorney Bernard Richmond KC, Mr. Mayo was asked about the character of his and his sister’s deceased father, Patrick Mayo.
The siblings’ father had a number of health issues, including “heart problems, diabetes and kidney failure” for which he was undergoing home dialysis, upstairs, with the help of their mother, at the time Mayo went into labor.
Mr Mayo died just days after the incident, the lawyer told the court.
Mr. Richmond asked Mr. Mayo, “He wasn’t an easy person, was he?”
“No,” Mr. Mayo replied.
Mr. Richmond then asked, “One of the things he was was very controlling?”
“He could be sometimes, he was honest but old-fashioned,” Mayo’s brother replied.
She allegedly hid both her pregnancy and birth, alone and unaided, claiming she was unaware she was pregnant
Mayo’s lawyer then asked, “I know it’s very hard to speak badly of your father, but as he got sicker, he got more frustrated and his temper went down.
“While he’s not one to use his fists, he could be terribly cruel with words—and with attitude?”
“He could, yes,” Mr. Mayo replied.
When asked if there was “pressure” on himself and Paris to “help as much as possible” while their mother took care of their father, Mr. Mayo replied “yes.”
Mr. Richmond then asked about an occasion when Paris had been required to help with dialysis, ‘but Paris couldn’t handle it and he (her father) told her she was useless and his daughter was no more?’
Mr. Mayo replied, “I don’t remember.”
He agreed with Mr. Richmond’s words that “walking on eggshells” around their father “damaged” his and his sister’s mental health.
In the immediate aftermath of the discovery of Mayo’s lifeless newborn in a garbage bag, Mr. Mayo agreed that his mother was “hysterical” and that his sister was crying and upset.
Meanwhile, Mr. Mayo was “in limbo, I didn’t know what to do or what to do, I sat there with Dad and just sat in silence.”
“All he said was he asked me what was wrong, I told him, and he said nothing, just nodded his head,” he added.
Mr. Richmond asked, ‘He sat there, with a frosty face? Emotionless?’
“Yes,” Mr. Mayo replied, adding, “Me too.”
Mr. Richmond then asked, ‘In fact your father said one thing – he insisted the baby be given a name – not just a name – it had to be named Stanley.
“So whatever else was going on, your father’s contribution was that the baby should be named Stanley.”
“Yes,” Mr. Mayo replied.
In a 10-minute 999 call, played today at Worcester Crown Court, Mayo’s mother could sometimes be heard sobbing and retching uncontrollably down the telephone line as she repeatedly asked her daughter questions.
She called emergency services at 8:33 a.m. and told the operator and later a paramedic, “My 16-year-old daughter gave birth last night. I did not know.
“I don’t know what to do.”
Asked if the baby was breathing, Mayo’s mom said “yes,” but corrected herself and said, “No.” No.’
When asked if the baby was dead and beyond help, she replied, “Yes. Yes,” before bursting into tears.
“It’s a boy,” she added.
While the operator waited a moment for a paramedic to join the 999 call, Mayo’s mother was heard asking her daughter, “Why didn’t you tell me?” Why didn’t you tell me? Why didn’t you tell me?
‘You could have told me. You could have told me, Paris.’
She then told the paramedic, “My daughter gave birth last night and she didn’t tell me. And he wasn’t breathing when she gave birth.
“She thought he was dead, so she hid it.”
When asked what color Stanley was, Mayo’s mother replied, “No. He’s just cold. He’s cold. He’s cold.’
She added, “I packed it.”
She cried uncontrollably again, describing Stanley as stiff.
“She kept saying she had bad stomach cramps yesterday,” Mayo’s mom added.
Asked to confirm whether her daughter knew she was pregnant, she replied, “No.”
Moments before paramedics arrived, she was heard asking Mayo, “Why didn’t you tell me?”
“You know you could have told me. You know it doesn’t matter. Why? Why? Why?
‘Why? I do not understand. Why didn’t you come get me?
“You know I would have, honey. You know.’
The Crown claims that Stanley suffered a skull fracture, possibly caused by Mayo’s foot on his head, before she then put five pieces of cotton wool in his mouth – two of which were found deep in the throat.
Mayo from Ruardean, Gloucestershire denies wrongdoing and the trial, expected to last six weeks, continues.