According to court documents fifteen year old Paris Mayo would give birth to her son in her parents living room while they slept. Paris would brutally attack the newborn leaving it with a crushed skull and would stuff cotton down his throat to ensure that the newborn would die. Paris would then throw the newborn into a trash bag
Paris Mayo would later tell authorities that she did not know that she was pregnant and was surprised when the labor began
Paris Mayo would be arrested, convicted and sentenced to a minimum of twelve years in prison
Paris Mayo Case
A woman has been detained for a minimum of 12 years for murdering her newborn baby when she was 15 to prevent her family discovering she had been pregnant.
Paris Mayo, now 19, gave birth to her son, Stanley, alone and in silence in the living room of her home in Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire, while her parents and brother slept upstairs.
She then assaulted the baby so violently that he suffered fractures to his skull and brain damage, and when he later showed signs of life Mayo stuffed cotton wool balls into his mouth to suffocate him before putting his body into a bin bag.
Paris Mayo claimed she did not know she was pregnant until minutes before her child was born and denied murder, claiming Stanley hit his head when he “fell out” of her as she gave birth standing up.
She said that when she finally realised she was pregnant, she did not call for help despite suffering terrible labour pain because she was worried her mother would be disappointed and her father angry.
The prosecution argued she must have known she was pregnant and planned to kill the child to prevent her family finding out. A jury found Mayo guilty of murder after a five-week trial at Worcester crown court.
Describing it as a “sad and troubling case”, the trial judge, Mr Justice Garnham, said Stanley suffered “serious and appalling injuries” at the hands of someone he should have been able to trust: his mother.
The judge said Paris Mayo was immature and insecure when she became pregnant aged 14. She had begun to have sex when she was 13 to try to make boys like her and had unprotected sex with her child’s father because he did not like wearing condoms.
The judge said Mayo “steadfastly maintained” she was not pregnant despite changes to her body and the “overwhelming likelihood” she felt her child moving inside her. He said he accepted this was not a “campaign of deceit” but a reality she feared she and her family would not be able to handle. “You simply didn’t want to acknowledge the truth. You refused to face what was becoming obvious,” he told her.
Garnham said it was “astonishing” that Mayo did not cry out when she gave birth because she did not want to disturb her parents sleeping upstairs. He accepted her experience must have been frightening, traumatic, painful and overwhelming.
The judge said as soon as her child was born she decided she could not allow him to live. He could not say for sure how she had initially attacked him but believed she may have crushed his head beneath her foot.
Paris Mayo’s child remained alive for at least an hour, the judge said, but then: “You decided you had to finish Stanley off,” and stuffed cotton wool balls down his throat. “Killing your baby son was a truly dreadful thing to do,” he said.
The judge accepted Mayo had not planned it for a long time but said on the evening of the murder she knew what was happening.
“You knew you were pregnant and about to give birth about an hour before you did so. You could have asked your mother for help or rung the emergency services. I am driven to the conclusion you had decided you would have to kill your baby.”
The judge said aggravating factors included the baby’s vulnerability and Mayo’s abuse of trust as his mother. He said the mitigating features included the lack of support for her, and he flagged up the reaction the case would attract in the press and social media and the reception she would get both in detention and when she was released. “This will be a life sentence to you in every sense,” he said.
Bernard Richmond KC, for Mayo, told the court Mayo refused to face up to her pregnancy until she went into labour. “Then the full impact of what was happening hit her like a tsunami. She was in pain, she was frightened.”
The barrister claimed the notion that her parents were available to help was “misplaced”. Her father was very ill and before getting sick was difficult and could be cruel. Her mother had moved back in with him to nurse him and was under huge pressure. “She [Mayo] did not feel able to call her parents,” Richmond said.
He said neither her parents, nor her teachers at school had noticed what was going on. “In the midst of this, there was a 15-year-old girl who was vulnerable, who was abused, who was not supported.”