I sold sex to win back my son' mum tells court
A mum accused of assaulting her baby son has told a court she worked as a prostitute in a bid to win back custody of the child, Plymouth Herald reported.
University student Elizabeth Wilkins, aged 23, said selling sex was the only way to raise money for therapy she needed.
Wilkins earned £200 an hour on average for providing escort services, Plymouth Crown Court heard.
But she denied selling sex at the time her son was left fighting for his life two years ago.
Wilkins, a law student at the University of Plymouth, has blamed ex-partner Erick Vanselow for attacking their son.
Elizabeth Wilkins denies assaulting her own baby son (Image: Plymouth Live)
She has denied shaking or crushing the baby as both parents stand trial accused of assault and cruelty.
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Prosecutors have told the jury that the boy was assaulted by one or both of his parents at least four times in the first three months of his life at their old flat in College Avenue, Mutley.
But his injuries were only discovered on his third visit to Derriford Hospital, when he was found to have broken ribs, a fractured skull and brain damage in September 2016.
He is expected to have developmental problems as he grows up.
Wilkins and 30-year-old Vanselow have made a series of allegations against one another during the three-week trial.
Elizabeth Wilkins leaves Plymouth Crown Court
The mum, who was part of the cheerleading club on campus, admitted that she had been providing an escort service between March and August this year.
That is a long time after criminal and family proceedings were underway in the courts.
Wilkins’ barrister Piers Norsworthy said: “Will you be doing it again?”
She replied: “No.”
The barrister continued: “Is that because of the publicity surrounding this case?”
Wilkins continued: “Yes”.
Asked what her escorting involved, she said: “It varied a lot. Anything from going to have a coffee with someone to someone coming around and having a drink and sleeping with them.”
She added that she earned on average £200 an hour.
Wilkins said that she had been told to undergo therapy to tackle Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder if she wanted to win back custody of her son.
She added: “I would have to pay about £100 a week. There was no other way I would be able to make enough money.”
Wilkins added that she had started therapy, but court attendance had made it difficult.
The A&E department at Derriford Hospital (Image: File image)
But she denied that she had advertised her services on a website which had been examined by the police.
Wilkins had earlier told the jury that she had leapt from a window and run away from home at the age of 12 to escape an abusive mother.
She said that Vanselow, studying a masters in international relations, was her first boyfriend.
Wilkins claimed that he used to like choking her to the point of unconsciousness during sex.
She said that he urged her to have an abortion after their unplanned pregnancy.
Wilkins has also accused Vanselow of shaking their baby – but she said she never foresaw him seriously injuring their child.
Erick Vanselow has been on trial at Plymouth Crown Court for two weeks (Image: Plymouth Live)
She also said that he deliberately smoked cannabis next to the infant in the bathroom to calm him down.
Wilkins said she had worked behind bars and as a waitress but also as a healthcare assistant.
She told the jury that she had considered switching to a nursing degree – but that ambition had been vetoed by her co-defendant.
All of these claims have been denied from the witness stand by Vanselow, who used to work as a disc jockey and at KFC.
He earlier told the court that he did not know who had assaulted their son.
Vanselow and Wilkins have each denied individual counts of assaulting the baby with intent to cause
grievous bodily harm on September 22, 2016.
The University of Plymouth
They have also pleaded not guilty to alternative counts of assaulting him causing grievous bodily harm without intent. These charges relate to the head injuries.
The parents have also denied causing or allowing a child to suffer serious physical harm to a child between his birth on July 2 and September 23 that year.
Wilkins alone has pleaded not guilty to assaulting the baby causing actual bodily harm between August 31 and September 3. This charge relates to the bloodshot eyes.
Prosecutors say that those injuries could not have been caused by Vanselow because he was out of town at the time.
The trial, due to last into next week continues.
Culled from Plymouth Herald