I wanted to die after baby killed
A MOTHER whose ex-boyfriend killed one of their "miracle" twins today told of her battle to rebuild her life.Zoe O'Leary, 19, said she was pushed to the brink of suicide in the immediate aftermath of her son Byron's death at their Stowmarket home.
A MOTHER whose ex-boyfriend killed one of their "miracle" twins today told of her battle to rebuild her life.
Zoe O'Leary, 19, said she was pushed to the brink of suicide in the immediate aftermath of her son Byron's death at their Stowmarket home.
At the same time it was discovered Byron's twin, Tyrese, had suffered fractures from his "head to his toes".
Miss O'Leary's ex-partner of four years, James Tuffs, was last month found guilty of the manslaughter of four-month-old Byron but was cleared of cruelty towards Tyrese.
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Tuffs, 21, of Forest Road, Onehouse, is due to be sentenced next month.
Today Miss O'Leary, 19, who was initially arrested after her son's death, on January 21, 2004, told of the horrific ordeal she has been through in the past 18 months. Aaliyah
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She said: "I was in so much shock I can't remember the first three days after Byron's death. I was worried about Aaliyah and Tyrese and Byron had died – I didn't know what was happening.
"At least I knew Tyrese was safe in hospital.
"At the same time I was being accused of being a murderer and a baby batterer. I was just in so much shock.
"I wasn't allowed to be alone. People had to be in my cell with me talking to me. I couldn't be left alone because I was suicidal.
"But what do you expect? My son was in hospital with fractures from his head to his toes and my other son was dead.
"I went to bed one night and everything was alright and the next day everything was wrecked."
Miss O'Leary, who still lives in Stowmarket, gave evidence against Tuffs during his three-week trial.
She told jurors how she went into the front room of their former Hill Rise home one morning to find Tuffs lying on top of Byron on a sofa while appearing to be asleep.
By this time Byron was "grey and floppy" and was pronounced dead soon after. Miss O'Leary later told police his death "could not have been an accident".
Today, Miss O'Leary said she is looking to get on with her life but finds it difficult to do so while it is still not known what happened to Tyrese.
She said: "My little boy is going to need answers when he gets older but he isn't going to get them. Justice was done for Byron but it hasn't been done for Tyrese.
"I couldn't believe it when I was told my son was covered in fractures. He had fractures from his head to his toe but he didn't have any pain relief. He is one brave little soldier."
Miss O'Leary also revealed the distress she felt at being accused of harming her children.
She said: "I know that I didn't cause those fractures. It hurts that I didn't know and I should've known. James killed Byron and he needs to accept it himself.
"When I look back I kick myself because there's things that happened and you look back and think 'oh my god'.
"If I'd have found out James had even shouted at the children he wouldn't have been in my house.
"I thought I knew James but I obviously didn't. I wouldn't have hated him if he had told the truth about Byron."
Miss O'Leary said she initially began to suspect herself because she could not understand how the injuries to her children were inflicted.
"I was so done in," she said. "I was trying to think whether I'd done it.
"This is going to be with me for the rest of my life. I hate being near babies in case someone thinks I've done something wrong."
Miss O'Leary and her mother, Marie, 40, believe some of Tyrese's fractures were inflicted up to three weeks before his death.
Mrs O'Leary, Zoe's mum, said tragedy has ripped her family apart.
She said: "These twins fought all the odds. Born at 2lb15oz, two months early and kept in the special care unit for two months, they were miracles.
"A lot of people don't want their children but we want them more than anything. We're the ones who dream about them all of the time."
Tyrese was born at Ipswich's Debenhams store, while Byron was delivered in the back of an ambulance in Ipswich Hospital's car park, in September 2003.