Windsor: Court Hears How Baby Suffered
12 November 2013, 16:54
An 11-month old boy suffered "catastrophic'' injuries after he was fatally assaulted by his mother, a court has heard.
Callum Wilson died at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford in March 2011 having suffered an "unsurvivable brain injury'', the Old Bailey heard.
His mother Emma Wilson, 25, is accused of murdering her son, who had also lost sight from a detached retina and had multiple fractures and bruising around his body, the jury was told.
Prosecutor Paul Dunkels QC told the jury that Callum was taken from his mother's flat in Windsor to hospital on March 18, 2011, in a "collapsed state''.
"He was 11 months old and had suffered an unsurvivable brain injury from an impact to his head,'' the barrister said.
"Violent movement may also have contributed to the brain injury. He died two days later.''
A post mortem examination revealed Callum had also suffered fractures to nine ribs, his right arm and left leg and had bruising across his face and body.
Doctors believed the fractures were caused 10 to 14 days before Callum died, the court heard.
"The prosecution's case is that these injuries were caused by the defendant while he was in her care....she caused the serious head injury from which he died,'' Mr Dunkels said,
Wilson, who denies murder, had "no plausible explanation'' for her son's injuries as his sole carer at the time of his death, the prosecutor added.
She claimed "constant pushing and rolling'' of Callum by his then 23-month-old brother, who can not be named for legal reasons, may have been to blame, the jury was told.
2A jealous, boisterous brother aged 23 months may have caused some bruising and scratching,'' Mr Dunkels said.
"But he could not have fractured Callum's ribs which was consistent with violent squeezing of Callum's chest.''
Mr Dunkels told the jury Callum's leg fracture may have been the result of "banging against a hard surface'', while his fatal brain injury was caused by a "direct blow'' or by striking his head against something.
"While her other son was seen to be capable of being rough with Callum, a 23-month-old child with the limits of his strength can not explain the fractures to his ribs, leg and arm,'' he continued.
"Nothing she has said can explain what happened to him.
"The effect of his injuries were immediate and catastrophic.''
The court heard Wilson had her eldest son, now four, with her partner Neil Mitchinson.
She later became pregnant with Callum in 2009 after a sexual relationship with another man, Lee Workman, who was unaware he was the father, Mr Dunkels said.
Callum was put into foster care after he was born but returned to his mother's home in November 2010.
Health and social workers spotted scratches on Callum during visits to her flat over the next few months, but Wilson blamed them on the boy's "boisterous'' brother, the jury was told.
The court heard Wilson lied to staff and parents at a playgroup at Woodlands Park Village children's centre in Maidenhead, claiming Callum was her cousin's son.
She provided a false surname and address for the youngster and claimed on one occasion that bruising on Callum's face had been caused by an older sister who in fact did not exist, Mr Dunkels said.
Staff noticed Callum change from a "happy, smiling baby'' to "emotionless and listless'', the prosecutor added.
In March 2011, Wilson arrived for two playgroup sessions at the centre without Callum.
"The prosecution suggest she may have been keeping Callum away while he made some recovery from the immediate impact of injuries she had caused to him,'' Mr Dunkels said.
Photographs were shown to the jury of Callum with visible bruising to his face shortly before his death.
One picture showed Callum with his older brother who was holding a pair of open secateurs.
Mr Dunkels said it was not the crown's case that Wilson intended to kill her son but claimed she carried out ``a violent act'' against a "vulnerable'' child.
"It may have been in a moment of temper, she may have been regretful after it was done,'' he said.
"She must have realised she was causing Callum a great deal of pain.''