Father denies murdering baby son

A FATHER killed his baby son after allegedly swinging him by his legs and smashing his head onto a surface of the boat they lived on, a court has heard.

A FATHER killed his baby son after allegedly swinging him by his legs and smashing his head onto a surface of the boat they lived on, a court has heard.

Matthew Ansell, 39, has denied murdering baby Harry, who was four-and-a-half months old when he died in October 2004.

A post-mortem showed Harry had suffered a series of injuries including a subdural haemorrhage and swelling to the brain and fractures to his legs.

Nigel Lithman QC, prosecuting, told Chelmsford Crown Court expert medical evidence showed it was “highly suggestive” the injuries were not accidental.


You may also want to watch:


The jury heard how Ansell and his wife, Andrea, lived on a 31-foot boat, Nebruska, moored at Tollesbury Cruising Club.

Ansell, formerly of Darcy Way, Maldon, claims Harry's injuries were accidental, saying he had been feeding his son when he slipped, dropping him onto a step.

Most Read

However, Mr Lithman said the evidence showed Harry's legs had been “gripped and twisted” while his head was brought into contact with a surface.

It is also alleged Ansell's story of what occurred changed in the hours after emergency services were called.

Baby Harry was rushed to Colchester General Hospital after he stopped breathing but after tests and consultation with doctors it was later decided intensive care should be stopped and he died at 9.45am on October 10.

Mr Lithman said the Crown was not saying he intended to kill his child, but did intend to cause him serious harm.

“What else can it be when a father swings his defenceless child whilst gripping him by his feet or legs and bringing his head into contact with a surface on the boat which they were living?”

Ansell, who had been a builder, and his wife Andrea, had been married for about three years and were living together on the boat.

Mr Lithman said the jury would be hearing from Mrs Ansell today about an occasion when her husband had been violent towards her.

On the day of the alleged killing the couple had a normal day, going out to the marina's “Cruising Club”, with Harry in the evening to meet friends.

Mr Lithman said Ansell drank about five glasses of wine that evening as they spoke with friends before returning to the boat.

Ansell got up to feed the baby when he then shouted, “he has stopped breathing”.

As Ansell carried out first aid bubbles of blood were coming from the baby's nostrils and he was making a gurgling sound.

The case continues.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter
Comments powered by Disqus