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Mother in court on Modbury murder charges

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: February 06, 2013

Angela Vane appeared at Plymouth  Crown Court via video link   Picture: Elizabeth Cook

Angela Vane appeared at Plymouth Crown Court via video link Picture: Elizabeth Cook

A mother charged with the murder of her two-year-old son has faced a judge for the first time.

Angela Vane, aged 40, appeared at Plymouth Crown Court for the first time, accused of killing Shaun Ryleigh O'Neill.

She faced the court via a videolink from a room at Eastwood Park prison in Bristol.

Vane, of Champernowne in Modbury, spoke only to confirm her identity during a ten-minute hearing. She has not yet entered a plea to the single charge that she murdered Shaun on January 19 this year.

High Court judge The Honourable Mrs Justice Victoria Sharp set a timetable for the submission of trial documents.

Martin Meeke QC, barrister for the Crown Prosecution Service, also made submissions about when the child's body can be released to the family.

Vane was represented in court by barrister Tim Hills.

Wearing a simple grey shirt and sitting behind a desk, Vane was watched on screen from the back of court by members of her family.

Mrs Justice Sharp remanded Vane in custody to appear again at the court on May 8.

She is then expected to enter a plea.

Police said the toddler's body was found at the property in Champernowne in Modbury last month.

Shaun's body was taken to Derriford Hospital in Plymouth and a post-mortem examination was carried out.

Shaun's family have paid tribute to the toddler, describing him as a "happy little boy". Vane had separated from her son's father before his death and both sides of Shaun's family refer to him with two different surnames, O'Neill and Vane.

Shaun's father, Ryan O'Neill, has also paid tribute to his son.

Floral tributes and teddy bears have also been left outside the house in the quiet residential street in the days after his death.

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