A mother accused of murdering her two-year-old son has told a jury she completely failed her son.
Rachel Fee is on trial alongside her civil partner Nyomi Fee, accused of killing toddler Liam in March 2014.
Ms Fee told a jury she was not thinking rationally when she failed to get Liam help for a broken leg he had suffered the week before he died.
The couple blame that injury, and Liam’s death, on another boy.
Rachel Fee said she feared Liam would be taken off her if she had taken him to hospital, admitting the toddler would still be alive if she had sought help for him.
Nyomi Fee, 28, and Rachel Fee, 31, deny killing the two-year-old at a house near Glenrothes in Fife on 22 March 2014, by repeatedly inflicting “blunt force trauma” to his head and body.
They also face charges they neglected Liam and abused two other children.
The pair blame one of the other children in their care for killing Liam.
The women, who are both originally from Ryton, Tyne and Wear, deny all the charges against them.
Giving evidence in her own defence, Rachel Fee said she would regret for the rest of her life her decision not to get emergency medical help for her two-year-old son’s broken leg.
Under cross examination, the 31-year-old admitted that she had even threatened to leave her co-accused Nyomi Fee if she called an ambulance for the toddler.
Advocate depute Alex Prentice, prosecuting, suggested she had put her own interests before those of her child.
He asked her: “How does that square with rights, duties and responsibilities of a mother you told us about earlier?”
She answered: “I completely failed Liam.”
Mr Prentice told her that little Liam must have been in “excruciating pain” with a broken thigh bone.
Earlier, Ms Fee admitted that she repeatedly searched Google to find out if a broken bone could cause death and if married lesbians could share a cell if they were jailed for neglect.
She told the court she felt “really bad” that she had spent about three hours on the day Liam died at riding stables looking after her horse.
She came home at about 18:20 to have drinks and a takeaway meal with Nyomi.
Rachel Fee told how she heard Nyomi shouting her name repeatedly from Liam’s bedroom and ran in to see her son “all white” being lifted out of his buggy by her partner.
Her defence QC Brian McConnachie asked her: “Can you remember how you reacted?” she said: “Yes. I think I fell to the floor. He wasn’t breathing.”
She said she went to the hallway where the other child was and he put his head down.
She said: “I knew by the look on his face he’d done something. Just done something.
“I was feeing completely distraught, devastated. I didn’t know what was happening, didn’t know what to do – so many different emotions.”
She said she was aware that her son was not breathing and asked the older child what he had done.
Ms Fee told the court: “I said: ‘You’ve strangled him or suffocated him haven’t you?’ and he said: ‘Yes’.”
Rachel Fee denied the prosecution’s claim that she and Nyomi had delayed calling the ambulance to allow them to hide a makeshift cage in which they allegedly imprisoned one of two older children they were looking after.
She told the jury that the boy she accused of strangling Liam had been responsible for sexually assaulting the toddler, giving him a head injury and breaking his leg.
She claimed she did nothing about the alleged assaults because she was scared social services would take the children away from her.
Ms Fee also denied the allegations from the other children of abuse spanning a two-year period.
She denied forcing them to take cold showers as punishment for wetting the bed, tying one in a cage and tying the other to a chair at night in a room full of pet rats and snakes.
The trial at the High Court in Livingston continues.