Mother unaware baby hurt - court told

PUBLISHED: 19:30 20 March 2002 | UPDATED: 11:35 03 March 2010

THE mother of a seven week old baby who was found to have 17 fractures to his tiny body has claimed that she had not realised there was anything wrong with him.

THE mother of a seven week old baby who was found to have 17 fractures to his tiny body has claimed that she had not realised there was anything wrong with him.

Despite medical evidence that her child must have been in severe pain from his injuries which included two skull fractures, seven broken ribs and eight fractures to his arms and legs, Tiffany Kellingray said he was a contented baby and had never screamed in pain when she picked him up.

Kellingray, 21, who broke down in tears as she was being questioned about her care of the baby, said she only became concerned when he was seven weeks old and became grizzly and wasn't feeding properly.

She had contacted her doctor who visited the family home and then admitted the child to hospital.

Kellingray said that if she had suspected earlier that there was something wrong with the baby she would have contacted her doctor or taken him to hospital.

Ipswich crown court has heard that doctors who examined the baby and took x-rays discovered 17 fractures including two to his skull which were potentially life threatening.

The fractures were of varying ages and included an unusual fracture to the shoulder blade which could have been caused by the baby being yanked out of his cot by one arm.

The court heard that the seven rib fractures were most likely to have been caused by the child's chest being squeezed "extremely severely", on at least three occasions.

Doctor Christine Hall a consultant paediatric radiologist at Great Ormond Street Hospital said that even if a small child was given cardiac resuscitation she would not expect to see such serious injuries.

Doctor Hall said the skull fractures were likely to be the result of the child's head being struck on two separate occasions against a hard flat surface with "quite considerable force".

She told the court that fractures resulted in severe immediate pain followed by further episodes of pain when the child was handled lasting up to seven days.

Although the child's injuries may not have been immediately apparent to health professionals they would have been obvious to the child's regular carers who would notice the child becoming distressed when it was handled, she said.

Kellingray of Lagonda Drive, Ipswich has denied wilfully neglecting the child.

Her boyfriend Richard Crisp, 23, of the same address has admitted assaulting the child and neglecting him.

Giving evidence Kellingray who was smartly dressed in a cream top and a black trouser suit said she had been her child's main carer.

She had left the baby about seven or eight times with Crisp but had not noticed anything wrong when she returned.

She denied ever seeing Crisp assault the baby or pick him up in a way that made him cry out.

In a statement read to the court the child's health visitor said she had visited Kellingray and the baby four times including the day before he was admitted to hospital.

She said the baby appeared to be content and hadn't cried when she handled him.

Two midwives who visited Kellingray at home days after the baby's birth said they had no concerns about the child's welfare and noticed that he appeared to be clean and well cared for.

In his closing speech to the jury prosecution counsel Jonathan Seely dismissed Kellingray's claim that she hadn't realised there was anything wrong with the baby "as baloney".

He said although doctors who handled the baby had not immediately realised he had fractured bones that as the baby's main carer Kellingray must have realised he was in pain.

Defence counsel James Beck said the only thing Kellingray was guilty of was having a child with the wrong man – a man who could brutally assault his own child.

The trial continues.

If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Ipswich Star. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the Ipswich Star