Man pleads not guilty to biting baby

A MAN bit a baby twice on the chest causing red marks and bruising, Ipswich Crown Court heard.Andrew Marks, 23, of Bartholomew Street, Ipswich, is accused of assaulting the young boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, causing him actual bodily harm.

A MAN bit a baby twice on the chest causing red marks and bruising, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

Andrew Marks, 23, of Bartholomew Street, Ipswich, is accused of assaulting the young boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, causing him actual bodily harm.

A jury of seven men and five women heard that on November 15 2000, the 16-month-old baby was examined by a paediatrician and police surgeon.

They noticed several injuries including what appeared to be bite marks near the left nipple of the boy.

Prosecution barrister Peter Fenn told the jury that a dental expert was called in and examined both the marks and an impression of Marks' teeth.

Dr Amanda Elmes, a dental surgeon with over 25 years experience, used a special computer programme to show the jury how an outline of Marks's teeth matched the bite marks on the child's body.

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She told the jury that Marks had irregular teeth and that she was almost positive that the bite marks were his.

Dr Elmes said: "It cannot be eliminated and there is a good likelihood of him [Marks] having made those marks."

The police had taken impressions of four other people who had been in the baby's presence around the point in which the bite was made.

Dr Elmes told the jury that none of their teeth matched the wounds on the youngster's chest.

But defence barrister Samantha Leigh told the court that the way the police took the original photographs of the baby's injury was flawed and, because no one knew the position of the baby's body when it was bitten, it was hard to reveal the identity of the culprit.

This claim was echoed by Dr John Ritchie, another dental surgeon with similar experience to Dr Elmes, who acted as a defence witness.

He told the jury that it was impossible to say who had bitten the young boy and said: "I do not think that the evidence is remotely good enough to attempt any sort of detailed comparison at all.

"There are no landmarks in which one can incur the identity of any teeth."

Marks pleaded not guilty to the accusations and the trial, in front of Judge John Devaux, continues today.