Kettering murder trial: Baby suffered previous brain injury

A Kettering child suffered a separate brain injury weeks or months before one that killed her, a murder trial heard.

Tuesday, 15th January 2019, 4:11 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th February 2019, 4:10 pm

Ryan Coleman, 23, is on trial at Birmingham Crown Court charged with murdering his partner’s daughter.

She died three days after being found unresponsive at her Kettering home on April 26 last year.

Birmingham Crown Court.

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Coleman, who was looking after the one-year-old at the time, claims she fell off a toddler bed 36cm from a carpeted floor.

Today (Tuesday) prosecutor Jonas Hankin QC outlined medical evidence to the jury from neuropathologist Prof Al-Sarraj that she had previously suffered a traumatic brain injury.

He said there were signs of fresh and old injuries and bleeding in the brain which were traumatic but entirely separate.

Mr Hankin said: “The old bleeding, from a pathological perspective, was several weeks to several months old.

“It is not possible to be more specific than that.”

The court heard some toddlers suffer some brain and spine injuries through birth but Mr Hankin said it was the view of the neuropathologist that these injuries were not caused by that or a fall from a bed.

He said: “Prof Al-Sarraj does not consider that the old brain and spine injuries are birth-related.

“Nor were the fresh injuries caused or contributed to by the old ones.

“He does not consider that any of the injuries are consistent with a short-distance fall as reported by the defendant, or attempted resuscitation.”

Mr Hankin added the injuries were “well in excess” of what would be expected from low-level fall.

The trial continues.