A DOCTOR told jurors a seven-week-old baby allegedly shaken to death and struck with a hard object by his dad suffered ‘devastating’ brain injuries similar to those of a car crash victim.
Kieron Hutchinson died in Sheffield Children’s Hospital four days after suffering the injuries, which a jury has been told were inflicted by Ian Hutchinson, aged 24, while he was alone with the infant at his mother’s house in Chapeltown.
Sheffield Crown Court had heard the killing could have been sparked when Hutchinson, who denies murder, became frustrated at not being able to change his baby’s nappy.
Consultant neuropathologist Dr Daniel Duplessis examined Kieron’s brain and said he found ‘very widespread damage’.
“The brain had been starved of blood and oxygen and therefore suffered severe damage. There was devastating injury due to the effects of deprived blood supply.”
He found similar damage in the spinal cord and the brain was ‘severely swollen’.
Jurors heard the alleged murder happened when Hutchinson’s wife Rebecca and his mother Georgina were out shopping.
Hutchinson told police Kieron ‘coughed and then went quiet’ while on a mat for his nappy to be changed.
Dr Duplessis said accidental explanations for injuries like Kieron’s could be falls from a significant height or road accidents.
“Crash injuries while being the occupant of a car, a heavy object such as a TV set or chest of drawers falling on a child - the brain injuries and the eye injuries could be seen in these situations.”
He said non-accidental explanations could include violent shaking or an impact, or both.
The spine appeared as if it had been ‘put under strain’ by being ‘abnormally stretched or distended.’ Shaking could be one mechanism, but an impact could also be an explanation,” he added.
“At the time it was mentioned there may have been some impacts while the child was resuscitated, which in my view don’t provide a plausible explanation.”
Consultant ophthalmic pathologist Dr Richard Bonshek said there was retinal bleedingg: “Given the severity of the findings, the degree of malfunction would be such that the child would be comatose.”
The trial continues.