Baby died from 'catastrophic' injuries after being shaken by father, court told

A six-month-old baby died from "catastrophic" injuries, including bleeding to his brain, after forceful shaking at the hands of his father, a court has heard.

Friday, 29th June 2018, 1:44 pm
Updated Wednesday, 4th July 2018, 6:19 pm
Court news
Court news

Kayden Walker is also alleged to have been subjected to cruelty which led to an earlier head injury several weeks before his death on June 12, 2016.

Birmingham Crown Court was told Kayden went into cardiac arrest at his home in Walnut Close, Bilston, West Midlands, and was pronounced dead in hospital about an hour after his father, Ricky Walker, dialled 999.

Opening the Crown's case against Walker, who denies murder, prosecutor David Mason QC alleged that the 27-year-old had previously joked about how long it would take his son to suffocate when a hoodie covered his face.

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Kayden's mother, Laura Davies, 25, denies causing or allowing the death of a child, and a charge of child cruelty related to allegations of an earlier non-accidental injury.

The barrister told the court: "We, the prosecution, say that Kayden was murdered by his father at a time when his mother was out of the house that they both lived in together.

"The evidence in this case will show that, just before Kayden's collapse and that call to the emergency services, he was almost certainly the victim of an episode of forceful shaking, involving an impact to the head."

Outlining evidence from medical experts due to be called as witnesses, Mr Mason said it would show a "triad" of findings pointing towards a shaking episode, including restriction of blood flow to the brain.

Alleging that Walker had not told the truth about the death, Mr Mason added: "Kayden also suffered a non accidental impact to the head.

"Shaking and the impact have caused him to go into cardiac arrest, leading to his devastating brain, eye and spinal injuries, from which he simply could not survive."

The court heard Walker had offered "no realistic alternative explanation", telling police a hoodie he used as a blanket may have ridden up over his son's face and caused him to stop breathing.

Walker, who had a small level of cannabis in his blood, told officers he had attempted to rouse Kayden by shaking him three or four times.

Jurors were also told that a second cousin of Davies had been "surprised" at the defendants' behaviour after they were released on bail shortly after the death.

Mr Mason said: "He was surprised that the two of them were apparently bragging about their time in the cells. He had been expecting them to be upset over what had happened."

Davies is said to have told her cousin that she had not mentioned the previous incident involving a hoodie to the police because Walker would probably not have been bailed by officers.

Explaining why Davies had been charged with causing or allowing death, Mr Mason went on: "Our case is that there had been an earlier incident of trauma to Kayden and both his mother and father would have been aware of it.

"We can and do suggest that she should have been aware that there was a risk to Kayden and failed to take reasonable steps to protect him."

Walker also denies charges of causing or allowing death and child cruelty.

The trial continues on Monday.