Residents’ shock and sadness following death of baby girl in Leyland

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A woman has appeared in court charged with murdering her baby daughter.

Jennifer Crichton, 34, from Leyland, was remanded in custody after the brief hearing before magistrates yesterday. She will appear before Preston Crown Court this morning.

I just saw her when she was taking the bins out and pushing the baby in the pram.

Police said they were called by the ambulance service to a house in Slater Lane, Leyland, after seven-month-old Amelia Crichton was found unresponsive on April 19.

Amelia suffered cardiac arrest and was taken to Royal Preston Hospital. She was later transferred to Manchester Children’s Hospital but died on April 21.

Lancashire Police said yesterday that a post mortem examination revealed that the child died as a result of head injuries.

Neighbours in Slater Lane have spoken of their shock and sadness.

They said they had seen police vehicles and officers in the area and an ambulance.

Heather Line, 56, of nearby Merlin Grove, which is just yards away from the property, said: “All I saw was the ambulance and it went right up to the top at 1pm. The driver stopped and ran round.

“The baby was in the ambulance.

“Police came and asked me what I knew. I said nothing, only about the ambulance.”

Of the mother, she said: “Nobody knew her, she was really quiet. She’s been here over 12 months, I’d say.

“I just saw her when she was taking the bins out and pushing the baby in the pram.

“I’m disabled. I’d moved here for the peace and quiet.

“When you hear this, it frightened me.

“The police wouldn’t tell us what was going on, it could have been anything.”

Mum-of one Debbie Larbey, 30, of Slater Lane, whose house backs on to the property, said: “I was at work. The next day the police came to me to ask questions but I didn’t hear anything the night before. I wasn’t any help to them.

“They were just asking if I knew my neighbours.

“Obviously it’s a tragedy, it’s horrible. You don’t expect anything like this on your front door.

“It’s horrid, it’s an absolute tragedy.”

As regards the mother. she said: “I didn’t know her. Obviously I’d seen them through my windows but don’t know anything about the family.”

A 34-year-old Slater Lane neighbour who asked not to be named, said he learned of the incident through social media.

“I saw I on Facebook that the baby had died,” he said.

He said he did not know the mother very well.

“I’ve seen her about. I know her to say hello to, just saying hello, general pleasantries.

“She was quiet, as far as I know.”