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Mum to stand trial for killing her seven-year-old son through gross negligence

Laura Heath, of Little Clover Close, Nechells, Birmingham, is charged with manslaughter and two counts of child cruelty

A mum accused of killing her seven-year-old boy in 2017 through gross negligence is set to stand trial later this year.

Laura Heath, of Little Clover Close, Nechells, Birmingham, previously pleaded not guilty to the gross negligence manslaughter of Hakeem Hussain, who was found dead by paramedics at a house in the city’s Cook Street, on November 26.

She also denies two counts of child cruelty.

Heath, 39, appeared for a pre-trial hearing over a video link from HMP Peterborough at Birmingham Crown Court on Thursday, with a six-week trial date confirmed to start on March 14.

Almost 50 witnesses are scheduled to give evidence during the trial, the court heard.

During a 19-minute hearing Heath sat alone wearing a grey Nike hoodie, her hair in a ponytail, and gave a double thumbs-up to the camera when Judge Paul Farrer QC asked to confirm if she was the defendant.

The child cruelty allegations date to incidents in 2017.

Adjourning the case for trial, Judge Farrer told the defendant: “Ms Heath your trial will start on March 14.

“In the meantime, as you know, you are remanded in custody.”

Hakeem, of Long Acre, Nechells, was described by his school’s headteacher shortly after his death as “a most beautiful little boy, a great friend to many staff and children, with a wicked sense of humour and an infectious giggle”.

One neighbour said previously: “He was the sweetest little kid. Would always be full of beans and would wave and say hello. Just a lovely little soul.”