United Kingdom

Seven-week-old baby 'murdered by his father' had injuries similar to car crash victim, court hears 

A seven-week-old baby allegedly murdered by his father had injuries similiar to those in a road traffic accident, a trial heard.

Brian Penn, 30, is accused of killing his son at a house in Ayr, South Ayrshire on November 1, 2017 - after baby Kaleb Penn was found to have had a skull fracture, a bleed to the brain and a serious brain injury.

A jury at the High Court in Glasgow heard blood was also found on his spinal cord and it was unlikely he was dropped from a small height.

Prosecutors claim Penn did 'repeatedly inflict blunt force trauma' on the child by 'means unknown'. It is also alleged he did compress and shake Kaleb.

The boy is said to have died at the Royal Hospital for Children in Glasgow two days later.

Penn, of Mossblown, Ayrshire, faces a separate charge of earlier attempting to murder the baby at the same house between October 13 and 31 2017.

He denies the accusations.

Brian Penn, 30, is accused of killing his son at a house in Ayr, South Ayrshire on November 1, 2017 - after baby Kaleb Penn was found to have had a skull fracture, a bleed to the brain and a serious brain injury (pictured: Glasgow High Court)

A consultant neuropathologist professor Colin Smith, 53, who examined Kaleb's brain after his death, gave evidence at the trial.

He claimed that the baby had suffered from 'classical trauma.'

Prosecutor Erin Campbell asked what he meant.

Prof Smith said: 'The events can be bumps to the head which is low level or a road traffic incident and moving at speed has high velocity trauma.'

Miss Campbell said: 'You described a car accident, could it be a blunt force injury to the head this trauma?'

Prof Smith replied: 'You can see them, but I don't see them in a simple fall.

'I don't see the injury in that setting.

'It's only seen in a setting of severe trauma, this is a fall from a height or road traffic incident.

Miss Campbell asked if the professor noticed anything abnormal in his examination.

He said: 'I saw an area of softening to the right side above the ear which was hitting towards the back of the brain.

'I described this as soft tissue extending back.

'This area of the brain appeared to be damaged above the ear extending backwards.

'The likely explanation was the fracture was damaging underlying brain tissue.'

Prof Smith claimed that this caused the brain to swell.

He later stated that signs of blood were found on the brain as well as the spinal cord.

Prof Smith also claimed there was evidence of previous bleeding to the brain dated seven to 10 days before Kaleb's death.

He was the asked: 'We may hear evidence that three weeks before his death, he may have been dropped from about 12 inches to the ground.

'Was a fall like that likely to have caused the injuries to the brain?'

Prof Smith replied: 'It is possible but not improbable.'

Miss Campbell asked: 'Would it be clear the level of brain injury you identified in this case would have led Kaleb to be unresponsive?'

Prof Smith replied: 'That's my opinion.'

Defence counsel Brian McConnanachie QC asked: 'As far as the old incidents are concerned, this can be described by the low level of the situation described to you?'

Prof Smith said it was 'possible but unlikely'.

The trial continues before Lord Weir.

Football news:

Scotland coach Clarke: There were a lot of good moments during the group stage, but no points scored
England are the most boring group winners in history. Two goals were enough! And at the World Cup, the Italians once became the first even with one
Dalic - to the fans after reaching the Euro playoffs: You are our strength, and we will be your pride
Modric became the youngest and oldest goalscorer in Croatia at the Euro
Czech Republic coach Shilgava: We came out of the group and fought with England for the first place. We got what we wanted
Gareth Southgate: England wanted to win the group and continue to play at Wembley-and it succeeded
Luka Modric: When Croatia plays like this, we are dangerous for everyone