Lancashire mother charged with daughter's murder

A Lancashire mother has appeared before a court charged with the murder of her newborn daughter, who was found in a kitchen bin with multiple stab wounds.

Friday, 7th April 2017, 4:03 pm
Updated Saturday, 8th April 2017, 10:27 pm
Police were called to a flat in Wellington Court in Burnley on January 16th, 2017.

Just before 3pm on January 16th of this year, police were called to a flat in Wellington Court in Burnley where Rachel Tunstill (26) was arrested after reports of a sudden death, leading authorities to find the infant in the kitchen bin.

With the cause of death established during the post-mortem as multiple stab wounds, Miss Tunstill did not enter a plea to the charge of murder, crying profusely as she appeared by videolink at Preston Crown Court on Friday, April 7th.

Named as ‘Infant Tunstill’ in court, an inquest into the baby's death has been opened and adjourned, with Miss Tunstill appearing visibly distraught during proceedings.

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After Miss Tunstill was charged, Lancashire Police's Detective Chief Inspector Jill Johnston, said: "Following a complex investigation and after consulting with the Crown Prosecution Service, we have today charged the mother of the newborn baby with murder.”

Police also said that despite a 30-year-old man also being arrested, they were “completely satisfied” that he had carried out no role in the infant’s death and that he had been released without charge.

Honorary Recorder of Preston, Judge Mark Brown, has remanded Miss Tunstill in custody until Friday, May 12th, when she will return to court to enter her plea, with her trial date set for Wednesday, June 7th.

The judge told Miss Tunstill: “There remain a number of issues, in particular your fitness to plead. I am adjourning the case for effectively a month.”