'Murdered' baby had 30 injuries

FATAL injuries suffered by a newborn baby, allegedly murdered by his teenage parents, could have been caused by the infant being swung by one of his arms and hitting his head on a hard surface, a court has heard.

Jane Hunt

FATAL injuries suffered by a newborn baby, allegedly murdered by his teenage parents, could have been caused by the infant being swung by one of his arms and hitting his head on a hard surface, a court has heard.

Home Office pathologist Dr Nat Cary, who carried out a post-mortem examination on the baby boy, told a jury at Ipswich Crown Court that he had suffered two skull fractures and a fractured upper arm as well as almost 30 scratches, grazes and bruises on his body.

The child's mother, who was only 15 when she gave birth in October last year, sat crying and wiping her eyes as Dr Cary gave details of the post-mortem.


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The girl, who is now 16, and her 17-year old boyfriend, who cannot be named because of their ages, have denied murdering their baby on October 7 last year.

Dr Cary said the baby had suffered two fractures on the left side of the head. The fractures were at right-angles to each other and measured 8cm and 5cm long.

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He said he also found a blood clot measuring 14cm by 15cm covering the surface of the child's scalp under the skin.

In his opinion the head injuries were caused by one or more forceful blunt impacts with a hard surface.

He said the baby had also suffered a fracture of the right upper arm bone which appeared to have been snapped in two in the middle.

He said no bruising was found at the site of the break which tended to rule out a direct impact to the area and it was more likely that a “snapping-type force” had been used.

He explained this could be caused by gripping the elbow and swinging the child by the arm.

He said the fractured skull and the fractured arm could have been caused as part of one action during which the child was held by the arm and swung against a hard surface or released against a hard surface.

Alternatively the injuries could have been caused separately.

The court has heard that the defendants met on the internet and at the time of the birth of their baby had been living with the girl's parents in the Eye area.

On the night of the baby's birth the girl had complained to her parents, who were unaware that she was pregnant, of stomach ache and they had gone to bed after advising her to take pain killers.

The girl had later given birth in a downstairs toilet at her home and the baby had died not long afterwards.

The couple are alleged to have given conflicting accounts of what happened to the baby leading up to its death.

The trial continues today.

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