Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 28 August 2014

Accused’s excuse for child’s injuries ‘are implausible’

A medical expert has told the trial of a man charged with murdering his baby son that his explanation for his child's injuries was “implausible”.

Ryan Leslie (26), from Ballyvesey Green, Newtownabbey, told police that his 14-week-old son Cameron banged his head on a plastic bath.

The jury has already heard that Cameron had fractured ribs and blunt force trauma to his head which caused his brain to swell.

Dr John McCarthy, a consultant pathologist, said that he found severe haemorrhages in both of the baby's eyes which were consistent with a trauma injury to the head.

He told Belfast Crown Court yesterday that it was likely that the haemorrhages were caused in the 12 to 24 hours before Cameron was admitted to hospital. The baby died two days later in September 2008.

Dr McCarthy, who is based in England, said after his initial examination he thought the baby may have died as the result of shaking.

But he said he later studied post-mortem photographs and saw a “significant” bruise on the back of the baby's head, which he said was clear evidence of an impact injury.

Asked about the accused's suggestion that the injury might have been caused by Cameron propelling himself backwards in a plastic bath and hitting his head, Dr McCarthy said: “In my opinion, that is implausible.”

Under cross-examination from a defence lawyer, Dr McCarthy agreed that the bruise hadn't been spotted by medical staff at Antrim Area Hospital, but it was later seen by teams at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast.

He said it was possible that bruising on the baby's body could have been caused “during active treatment'”as medics tried to save Cameron's life.

The case continues.

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