Teenage mum Ellie Jacobs admits killing five-week-old son with paracetamol overdose

Archie Jacobs died in hospital after entering cardiac arrest

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A teenage mum has admitted killing her five-week-old son with an overdose of paracetamol.

Ellie Jacobs, 19, pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of Archie Jacobs, as well as child cruelty, at Luton Crown Court on Wednesday (10 May).

Archie died in hospital on 5 June 2020, during the first Covid lockdown, after entering cardiac arrest. South Central Ambulance Service were called to a property at Whitfield Road in Biddlesden, Buckinghamshire, just after 3pm after receiving a 999 call.

Archie was rushed to hospital but sadly died, with a post-mortem finding his cause of death to be acute paracetamol toxicity. When his body was examined, police found two sets of fractures to his leg and foot - one to his right tibia and four to the big toe of his right foot which were caused three to seven days before he died.

Sarah Jacobs with her daughter, EllieSarah Jacobs with her daughter, Ellie
Sarah Jacobs with her daughter, Ellie

Ms Jacobs, of Moor Road, Rushden, Northamptonshire, was arrested by Thames Valley Police (TVP) in connection with his death in October 2022 and was later charged with murder.

The court heard that Archie died from a paracetamol overdose, after crushed up adult tablets were added to his bottle from the evening of 4 June into the early hours of 5 June. Ms Jacobs had admitted only adding a pinch of paracetamol.

The teenager gave birth to her son while she was living on a caravan site at Biddlesden on 28 April 2020 when she was just 16-years-old. Her mother Sarah Jacobs also lived on the site with her, offering support to her daughter and grandson, but she was tragically killed in a road crash on 10 May 2020.

The court was told that family and friends invited Ms Jacobs and Archie to live with them, but she declined the offer and refused help from social services to stay at a mother and baby unit. She initially had regular contact with a social worker, nurse and midwife but this later switched to video calls due to Covid restrictions.

A diary was found by police in the caravan less than two weeks before Archie’s death, in which Ms Jacobs wrote that she felt "absolutely nothing" for her son, the court heard.

An extract from the diary said: “I don’t know how much longer I can keep up this act of being ok. I don’t even know what it feels like to be ok anymore. I don’t think I will ever feel that again.

“As long as I had my mum I was ok. I hate every single second I spend on this earth without her. ‘I hate myself so much because every time I look over at Archie I feel absolute nothing, when he cries I just don’t care.

“I don’t know if it’s right but when I am away from Archie I don’t miss him at all. I just feel a weight lifted from my shoulders.”

The 19-year-old has now admitted manslaughter by unlawful act and child cruelty. She is due to be sentenced at Luton Crown Court on 24 May.

Detective Chief Inspector Will Crowther of TVP’s Major Crime Unit said: “This is a very sad case, where a five-week-old boy lost his life.

“I am pleased that Ellie Jacobs finally accepted responsibility for causing Archie’s death and for the significant injuries to Archie which he received in the days leading up to his death.

“I am hoping this guilty plea will help the rest of Archie’s family move forward following these tragic circumstances.”