HEAD injuries to a 21-month-old boy could have been caused by swinging him into a table or wall, the Old Bailey heard today (April 26).
Bobby Louch died on December 29, 2008 at home in Halcot Avenue, Bexleyheath, having suffered a string of injuries to his head and body.
His mother Collette Harris, aged 30, of Chapel Close, Crayford, and her then boyfriend James Phillips, aged 25, of Dale View, Erith, deny murdering him.
Giving evidence today, forensic pathologist Professor Anthony Risdon spoke about his post-mortem examination, carried out the day after Bobby's death.
Although the child was taken to Queen Mary's Hospital in Sidcup at 9.42am on December 29, Prof Risdon estimated he could have died three to five hours before that.
He claimed that all of the 39 bruises found on Bobby's head and chest were “less than two days old”.
These included 12 bruises around the baby's forehead which Prof Risdon said were probably caused by multiple blows.
One large, dark bruise on the child's forehead was the result of a “forceful impact injury”, causing bleeding to the brain.
The professor said the injury could have been caused by hitting a table or wall.
He said: “These sorts of injuries are usually the result of bringing a child's head into contact with a hard surface.”
Although the pathologist recorded the cause of death as multiple injuries, he told the jury that these head injuries were the most likely explanation.
Elsewhere, bruising to the child's ear could have been caused by someone picking him up by it, the professor said.
The baby also had around 20 bruises on his body and the pathologist discovered that Bobby's pancreas had been “completely broken in two” and his liver had been torn.
Prof Risdon estimated these injuries could have been the result of one blow and speculated it may have been “a punch with a fist or kick with a foot”.
The pathologist also told the jury that fractures caused to two of the baby's ribs might have been up to two weeks old.
Harris and Phillips deny an alternative charge of causing or allowing the death of a child.
The trial continues.