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21 April 2016, 17:05
Two women accused of murdering toddler Liam Fee tied a young boy to a locked home-made cage at night-time, a court has heard.
The boy, who cannot be named, told police his hands and feet would be bound with cable ties to the makeshift cage constructed out of a fireguard and bars.
He told how his hands would swell up and was called "pudding hands'' by one of the accused, jurors heard.
The child also described how he would sometimes be naked in the cage, had his hands tied behind his back on occasion and would have objects placed on him to make sure he did not move.
Liam's mother Rachel Trelfa or Fee, 31, and her civil partner Nyomi Fee, 28, are on trial for a second week at the High Court in Livingston, where they deny murdering two-year-old Liam and falsely blaming his death on another young boy.
They also plead not guilty to a catalogue of allegations of wilfully ill-treating and neglecting two young boys over a period of more than two years.
The jury has been shown various pre-recorded interviews with the boy the women blame for the death which were held in the weeks after Liam died at a house in Fife on Saturday March 22 2014.
On day eight of the trial, the jury heard the child tell a police officer and social worker about a "cage'' in the living room.
He described being locked in the makeshift construction, which was tied together with cable ties. He said he would be "sitting up, sometimes lying down, tied there'' and showed his arms being stretched out and up.
``It was made of a fireguard and there was some bars,'' he said, adding the bars came from the under the mattress on a bed.
The child said it happened "after Christmas'' and described how the cage would stay in the living room but would get moved into another room when a nurse came round to look at his sore feet.
"Why did you have to go in there (the cage)?'' he was asked.
"I don't know,'' the child replied.
"What did you get tied with?'' the interviewers asked.
"Cable ties,'' he replied, adding that both his arms would be bound, and feet.
"How long would you be tied to that cage for?'' he was asked.
"All night,'' the boy said, later adding that it happened once in the daytime.
He said Nyomi would do it to him but that Rachel would also do it when Nyomi was away.
The child also described how the accused would throw jackets over the cage when they were watching DVDs so that he could not see.
"Did you have any clothes on?'' he was asked.
"No clothes on,'' the boy replied. He agreed that he had slept in the cage in the living room.
Jurors heard him describe how his tied hands would become red and swollen, and that Nyomi had called him "pudding hands''.
He described how, on other occasions, he would be tied to a cot with a dressing-gown cord and coat belts.