Killer foster mother is jailed for at least 18 years for baby murder

‘He was placed in the home of a monster’: Birth mother slams authorities who put her baby with foster parent Laura Castle who has now been jailed for 18 years for his murder

  • Leiland-James suffered fatal head injuries at Castle’s home in Barrow-in-Furness
  • Kasteel, 38, was convicted of murdering 13-month-old, wat in Januarie oorlede is 2021
  • Video shows Castle, an admitted ‘abusive parent’ – pulling faces as child cried
  • The biological mother of a baby murdered by his foster parent slammed authorities today for ‘placing him with a monster’.

    Leiland-James was taken into care soon after Laura Corkill gave birth to him in December 2019.

    But Ms Corkill said she stayed in frequent contact with his foster mother before his placement for potential adoption with Laura Castle, 38, en haar man, Scott, 35, at their home in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria.

    Mrs Castle was jailed for a minimum of 18 years today at Preston Crown Court for the murder of the one-year-old boy she was hoping to adopt.

    In a letter sent to the court Ms Corkill said: ‘He was placed in the home of a monster.

    ‘A monster that was meant to love, nurture and cherish him as I would have done. A monster that robbed Leiland-James at only 12 months old of his life, robbed me, sy broer, sisters and my family of one day opening the door to the wonderful young man that I know he would have become.

    ‘Leiland-James was ripped from my loving arms, but I was always his mammy. I carried him within my body for nine months, with every beat of my heart full of love, full of pride, full of promise. My beautiful blue-eyed baby, love saw his first breath, evil took his last breath here on earth. Mammy was not ready to say goodbye, I will never be ready to say goodbye.

    ‘I carry Leiland-James forever in my heart, I hear his cheeky laughter in the wind that blows, see his beautiful smile in my memories engrained within my sole, his photos on every wall. I have footprints and handprints and a memory box, but all I want is to hold him.’The monster has said that she wants ‘her boy to have justice’. He was not and never will be your baby boy. You lost that right the first second it went through your head to hurt him.








    Laura-kasteel, 38, was convicted of murdering 13-month-old, wat in Januarie oorlede is 2021

    Laura-kasteel, 38, was convicted of murdering 13-month-old, wat in Januarie oorlede is 2021

    ‘He was a precious baby, vulnerable and innocent, he had no voice, he could not defend himself. The names you called him and the hurt you caused him, the fact that you blamed him for your disgusting behaviour and treatment of him, Leiland-James was a baby! A tiny baby! Aan die begin van November! skande! on you. You are not a mother, you are a monster.

    In her victim personal statement read to the court she said: ‘I was told he would be safe and he would have a good life. I was fine with that. Now my life is broken.

    Leiland-James died the following day after doctors found that his heart wasn’t beating and he had a head injury, which Laura Castle said he sustained by falling from a sofa.

    But the court heard how she had then searched online for what might cause a bleed on the brain while the tot lay in hospital, as her story began to unravel.

    And later a post-mortem finding confirmed that he had suffered a traumatic head injury, which wasn’t caused by accident.

    During her trial, the foster mum pleaded guilty to manslaughter, after admitting that she shook the baby so that he was ‘stop crying.

    But texts shared between Laura Castle and her husband revealed that she had referred to Leiland-James as a ‘proper n*bhead’, a ‘d**kand a s**t bag’.

    Handout grab from video issued by Cumbria Police of Laura Castle's during a police interview

    Handout grab from video issued by Cumbria Police of Laura Castle’s during a police interview

    Leiland-James Corkill had been placed with Laura Castle, 38, and her 35-year-old husband Scott by authorities in Cumbria

    Leiland-James Corkill had been placed with Laura Castle, 38, and her 35-year-old husband Scott by authorities in Cumbria

    Laura-kasteel, 38, of Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, was found guilty of murdering 13-month-old Leiland-James Corkill last week at Preston Crown Court. Footage shows her pulling faces as the infant cried in hospital

    Laura-kasteel, 38, of Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, was found guilty of murdering 13-month-old Leiland-James Corkill last week at Preston Crown Court. Footage shows her pulling faces as the infant cried in hospital

    Op Januarie 6, 2021, paramedics found Leiland-James unresponsive and floppy when they attended his foster parents' home in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria

    Op Januarie 6, 2021, paramedics found Leiland-James unresponsive and floppy when they attended his foster parentshome in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria

    She also admitted to ‘smackingthe child in the messages.

    In one text she wrote: ‘I honestly really don’t like him lately, hes an absolute moaning winge bag and I totally regret doin this [sic].

    ‘I’m goin to lose my mind. He just p****s me off all the time, can never just have a nice day or night ever.

    ‘Although I need to stop smacking him cos if I start I’ll not stop at one point and it’s not getting us anywhere and then I feel bad.

    The court also heard that a social worker had reported concerns about the foster mum after she had branded the baby ‘lazyand ‘big’.

    A review then took place where officials told the couple they would not support permanently placing Leiland-James with them unless they undertook therapeutic work.

    But the court heard the couple instead ploughed ahead with the adoption proceedings.

    The couple exchanged further texts on September 25, 2020, with Laura telling her husband she had ‘leatheredLeiland-James again as she was at her ‘wits end’.

    Sy het bygevoeg: ‘I’m just an abusive parent so it seems.

    After 13-month-old Leiland-James was admitted to hospital, Preston Crown Court heard how his foster mother Laura Castle had searched online for what might cause a bleed on the brain

    After 13-month-old Leiland-James was admitted to hospital, Preston Crown Court heard how his foster mother Laura Castle had searched online for what might cause a bleed on the brain

    A jury later found Laura Castle guilty of murdering Leiland-James, with a judge set to determine her sentence at a later date, while Scott Castle was acquitted.

    And following the verdict, Joanne Close, Senior Crown Prosecutor with CPS North, called former foster mum ‘self-centred, abusive and violent’.

    Sy het gese: ‘His birth mother believed he would be safe and have a good life.

    ‘His foster parents cared for and loved him for eight months; they described him as a beautiful little boy with the most contagious laugh.

    ‘But his life was cruelly cut short by the actions of Laura Castle; she was self-centred, abusive and violent and unfit to provide a home to this vulnerable child.

    ‘The Crown Prosecution Service worked very closely with Cumbria Police to build the strongest possible case to secure justice for Leiland-James.

    ‘Laura Castle was given no option but to admit at the start of the trial that she had caused his death. The jury had the evidence they needed to find her guilty of his murder.

    ‘I hope today’s conviction provide some comfort to those that loved Leiland-James. My thoughts are with them.