Blackpool baby's bruises suggested "slapping" or "poking", murder trial jurors told

A Home Office pathologist has described finding bruises consistent with "slapping or punching" and "poking or prodding" on a baby's body.

Friday, 23rd July 2021, 3:45 pm

Dr Alison Armour was asked to examine four month old Willow Lee, whose father is accused of her murder.

Each mark or injury on the tot found during a post mortem examination was plotted on diagrams shown to jurors at Preston Crown Court.

Willow was found seriously injured at a house on Onslow Road in Layton, Blackpool, on Thursday, December 3, 2020, and was later transferred to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital where she died on Sunday, December 6.

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Willow Lee

Jordan Lee, 28, of Onslow Road, denies murder and claims the baby rolled off the sofa, onto a carpeted floor - possibly hitting her head on a glass bottle or remote control - as he played on his X Box, but the prosecution argues the injury is not consistent with his account.

Dr Armour was asked about her interpretation of Willow's head and facial bruises, which she reported was " consistent with blunt impact trauma".

Defending, Nick Johnson QC asked: " Does that mean any sort of blunt or sufficient force to cause bruising of such a size?"

She replied: " Yes."

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He added: " You go on to say some bruises are in keeping with poking or prodding?"

Dr Armour said: "Some, yes sir."

Asked about the notion Willow fell onto a carpeted floor, Dr Armour said it was "inconsistent with severity of the head injury baby Willow suffered".

Mr Johnson suggested if the baby fell that distance onto hard objects such as a glass bottle, remote control or hard plastic subwoofer, it would be possible it could cause "at least cause some of the bruising to the face we see".

Dr Armour replied: "Again in my opinion it would not cause injury number 9 (her ear).

"And the grouping of the injuries at number 1 (her head)... I can't see how a fall onto a glass bottle would cause a grouping of the three injuries.

"I would find it really difficult sir to attribute a child falling 22 inches from a sofa into a remote control to account for those injuries.

"It's clearly not my opinion that the bruise was caused in this way but if you put it to me as a possibility I don't exclude it, but I don't find that a credible or reasonable explanation."

Asked about the baby possibly landing on a glass milkshake bottle when she 'fell', Dr Armour replied: "I find it difficult to accept that would cause any significant injury."


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