Members of the adoption services that placed 13-month-old Leiland Corkill in the care of the couple that is accused of killing him have given evidence on the second day of the pair's trial.

Laura Castle, 38, stands accused of the murder of baby Leiland Corkill, while her husband Scott Castle, 34, is charged with allowing or causing his death.

The couple, of Eskdale Avenue, Barrow, was in the process of adopting Leiland, when he was rushed to hospital on Wednesday, January 6, 2021, with catastrophic head injuries from which he tragically died the following day at Alder Hey Children's Hospital, Liverpool.

Penny Hindle, part of the adoption recruitment team, who was assigned to Leiland's case, was the first to take the stand.

The court heard she had placed on record in a report that Laura is a 'coper', that she is 'verbally competent and articulate', and 'clear and easy to work with', and that she had no concerns about the behaviour of the Castles prior to Leiland being placed in their care in August 2020.

In December 2020, following meetings between the Castles and Mrs Hindle, in which Laura Castle had confessed that she didn't love Leiland and hadn't bonded with him, Mrs Hindle said she "could not support their application to adopt Leiland at that time", as she was concerned about the "emotional relationship", between Leiland and the Castles - but had no concerns about physical abuse.

Laura Castle explained to Mrs Hindle that her family loved the boy so he was 'not going anywhere'.

Mrs Hindle went on: "My reaction was that in itself is not a good enough reason to adopt a child.

"I was not convinced the adoption would hold.

"A further meeting was scheduled to take place "very early in the New Year" to discuss Leiland-James's placement, Mrs Hindle said, but on January 6 she was made aware of the incident at the Castles' home.

The court also heard that the Castles, along with all of their extended family that was involved with Leiland's care, referred to him as 'James', his middle (birth) name, and that this was in direct contravention of adoption rules that state that adoptive and foster parents must gain express permission before changing his name.

The Castles had successfully applied to remove the 'i' from Leiland, and always used 'Leiland' in the presence of social workers and adoption services, but Laura Castle's parents, and Scott Castle's father, who also gave evidence, confirmed that they all referred to him as 'James'.

Jodie Edwards, a senior practitioner health visitor who was assigned to Leiland in November 2020 after concerns were raised about his development, noted that Laura Castle referred to him as 'James'.

A discrepancy became apparent when Laura Castle's mother Julie Haughton was cross-examined by prosecutor Mr Brady QC. She said Laura had never told her that she didn't love Leiland, or hadn't bonded with him, but in a statement given to police on January 8, 2021, Mrs Haughton said that Laura had, in fact, confided these facts to her.

A statement made by Mrs Haughton also said that if Laura had harmed Leiland, Laura 'should own up to it', and that 'he was an innocent baby'.

Witness statements were also read out by paramedics attending the first call at 8.15am on Wednesday, January 6, Melissa Barrow and James Hall.

Mr Hall, while treating Leiland in the ambulance on the way to Furness General Hospital, noticed "dark black discolouration under both eyes."

His statement said Laura Castle remained quiet but repeated the same question around five times - "Do you know what happened?" 

Mr Hall stated: "I found this very strange, as she had already reported to us what had happened".

The trial continues on Wednesday.