Solicitor of woman charged with murder of toddler who fell from flat window makes witness appeal

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The solicitor representing a 23-year-old woman charged with the murder of an 18-month-old boy who fell from a sixth-floor window of a block of flats has appealed for witnesses to come forward.

Sajad Chaudhury told a district judge Gemma Procter denies the charge of murdering Elliot Procter.
Mr Chaudhury was speaking as Procter appeared for a 10-minute appearance at Bradford Magistrates' Court on Monday.

Defence solicitor Sajad Chaudhury (top left) outside Bradford Magistrates' Court and Newcastle House in Bradford, where an 18-month-old baby died following a fall from a sixth-floor window. PA

Defence solicitor Sajad Chaudhury (top left) outside Bradford Magistrates' Court and Newcastle House in Bradford, where an 18-month-old baby died following a fall from a sixth-floor window. PA

District Judge Michael Fanning partially lifted the normal reporting restrictions which limit what media can report at such hearings so Mr Chaudhury could make an appeal to anyone who had information about or footage of "behaviour" in the Newcastle House block in the days leading up to Elliot's death.

Mr Chaudhury did not specify what incidents he was referring to but said: "People may have thought them insignificant but, for us, they may be significant."

Read more: Resident tells of desperate bid to save toddler who died in Yorkshire tower block fall

The incident was reported to police at about 5.10pm on Saturday.
Attempts were made to save the toddler who, witnesses said, was naked as he fell on to the cobbles.

Defence solicitor Sajad Chaudhury outside Bradford Magistrates' Court as he appealed for witnesses to come forward following an incident where Gemma Procter is charged with the murder of 18-month-old Elliot Procter who fell from a sixth-floor window of a block of flats. PA

Defence solicitor Sajad Chaudhury outside Bradford Magistrates' Court as he appealed for witnesses to come forward following an incident where Gemma Procter is charged with the murder of 18-month-old Elliot Procter who fell from a sixth-floor window of a block of flats. PA

Despite the efforts of people at the flats in the Barkerend area of the city, police said it was quickly apparent that he had died.

Procter, of Newcastle House, Bradford, stood in the glass front-dock flanked by two security guards and clearly upset for the short hearing.

She spoke to confirm her personal details and that she understood the charge.

Wearing a grey sweatshirt and grey tracksuit bottoms and sporting long red hair, the defendant acknowledged family at the back of the court.

Newcastle House in Bradford, where an 18-month-old baby died following a fall from a sixth-floor window. PA

Newcastle House in Bradford, where an 18-month-old baby died following a fall from a sixth-floor window. PA

One young man shouted "love you, babe" and Procter said the same back as she was led from the dock.

Procter was remanded in custody and will appear again before Bradford Crown Court on Wednesday.

Mr Chaudhury told the court it was a "tragic event".

He said: "Clearly, it's a horrific and traumatic incident for all people involved and the defendant's family is in court supporting her. This is a defendant who denies the charge of murder."

Newcastle House in Bradford, where an 18-month-old baby died following a fall from a sixth-floor window. PA

Newcastle House in Bradford, where an 18-month-old baby died following a fall from a sixth-floor window. PA

The solicitor said: "The incident happened around 5pm. It's very important for any witnesses to come forward who have any CCTV or any video footage on their phones or who have seen anything in terms of behaviour from anyone in the days leading up to the incident.

"That may relate to witnesses on the 6th floor and the floor below."

He said: "There are certain things they could have seen. People may have thought them insignificant but, for us, they may be significant."

Mr Chaudhury said: "We are asking for any footage to be handed in to them (the police) and any witnesses to come forward to them."

He told the district judge: "There were incidents in the days leading up to and on the day of the incident."

The solicitor explained how the flats were part of a large block and had a high turnover of residents. He said he wanted publicity so as many residents as possible would be aware.

Mr Chaudhury asked for the reporting restriction to be lifted to allow him to make the appeal.

Outside court, Mr Chaudhury repeated his appeal.

He said: "Our thoughts are with the families of everyone who lives at Newcastle House.

"The tragic events of October 21 2017 will affect their lives for a long time.

"We would invite any witnesses who live in that block of apartments, any witnesses who have been in that area, any witnesses on any floor - specifically the 5th the 6th and the 7th floor - who may have seen behaviour, who may have seen any incident, any episodes, that they think are insignificant to them but may be relevant to us, we invite them to contact the police.

"Anybody who's got any CCTV footage, anybody who's got any video footage of any bizarre incident in the days leading up to the 21st October 2017, and concluding at 5pm, around that mark.

"What we're asking for is anything. You may think it is insignificant but, for us, it may be very important.

"We are well aware that there are eight floors with shops at the bottom of Newcastle House and a large area at the front of Newcastle House.

"Every floor has a long corridor and that means a lot of residents living in that location. Anyone might have seen anything.

"I would invite you to contact the police and report any incident."

Flowers, teddies and balloons have been left outside the block of flats.

One message said: "You grew your angel wings too soon."

Another said: "You've been taken away too soon, before your life had hardly begun.

"You've touched the hearts of many."

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