A woman who murdered a baby boy she wanted to adopt has been jailed for at least 18 years.
Laura Castle shook 13-month-old Leiland-James Corkill at her home in Barrow, Cumbria, in January 2021.
She had admitted manslaughter but at Preston Crown Court was found guilty of murder and child cruelty. Her husband Scott Castle was cleared of causing or allowing the boy’s death.
Castle, 38, was sentenced to life with a minimum term of 18 years.
Mr Justice Jeremy Baker said Castle had a “selfish desire” to keep Leiland-James even though she was struggling to bond with the baby and it was a “tragedy” the Castles did not end the adoption.
Leiland-James moved in with the Castles in August 2020 when he was eight months old, having been taken into care by Cumbria County Council at birth.
The court heard the couple struggled to bond with him and Castle sent her husband messages while he was at work criticising Leiland-James, calling him vulgar names and a “moaning whinge bag” and describing how she “absolutely leathered” him.
At about 08:15 GMT on 6 January 2021, Castle called 999 to say Leiland-James was unconscious and breathing awkwardly after falling from the sofa.
He died the following day at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool.
After initially telling police Leiland-James fell from the sofa, Laura Castle answered no comment in subsequent interviews.
On the opening day of her trial she admitted manslaughter but said she did not mean to kill him.
Det Supt Dave Pattinson, who led the investigation, said it was an “horrific set of circumstances” and obvious to medical responders at the scene a fall from the sofa “didn’t add up with the nature of the injuries”.
He said only Castle knew what happened that morning and had “never actually told anyone the truth”.
He said she was “horrible human being” and a “manipulative liar”.