Erith child murder trial: Toddler Rhys Lawrie 'unlikely to have died accidentally' (From News Shopper)
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Erith child murder trial: Toddler Rhys Lawrie 'unlikely to have died accidentally'
A TODDLER allegedly murdered by his mother's teenage boyfriend is unlikely to have died accidentally, a court heard today (OCT 15).
Cameron Rose, of Court Road, Eltham, is accused of murdering three-year-old epileptic Rhys Lawrie in January last year at his mum's flat in Columbus Square, Erith.
Consultant forensic pathologist Doctor Nathaniel Carey told a jury at the Old Bailey the "multiplicity" of bruises to Rhys's face when he died were fresh and probably caused deliberately.
He said: "In my opinion the nature and extent of the bruises here both to the facial area and also to the right hand side of the body, would be atypical for an accidental origin.
"It isn't what I would expect to see had these injuries occured during the course of a seizure."
Rose was just 16 when for the third time he was left in sole charge of Rhys by his mum Sadie Henry, 28, on the day of the youngster's death on January 21 last year.
Rhys died of a subdural brain haemorrhage at Darent Valley Hospital after suffering a broken right tibia in his leg and a mass of other bruising.
Prosecution witness Doctor Carey said: "Bruises around Rhys' right cheek would be consistent with an impact type injury or indeed a series of impacts.
"That sort of impact would be capable of causing the fresh subdural haemorrhage and what in my opinion was the fatal head injury."
He added: "The scenario that would explain the totality of fresh injury would be that Rhys was forcibly gripped in a number of different positions to the facial area and that his head was impacted one or more times with a flat surface.
"I have certainly dealt with cases before where young children have been swung by a limb."
Prosecutor Miss Howes had earlier told the jury that expert evidence suggested Rhys "could have been swung by the right leg causing impact to the head or face."
Forensic scientist Analese Scawen earlier told the jury the principal DNA sample in one of three red stains found on dead Rhys's t-shirt was likely to have come from Rose's blood.
She said: "In my opinion the major profile originated from the blood and I give that opinion considering other alternative sources for that DNA."
Paediatric neurologist Professor Helen Cross told the jury how Rhys' bruising was most likely the result of more than one impact rather than a single fall.
Prosecutor Sally Howes QC asked Prof Cross: "The fact there is bruising to both ears and extensive bruising to both sides of the face means what to you?"
The witness responded: "It indicates that it is not the result of a single fall to the face.
"It indicates something happened to both sides separately."
Rose denies one charge of murder and two of assault occasioning actual bodily harm.
The trial continues.