Docs missed tragic baby's broken ribs'
PUBLISHED: 11:35 29 April 2010 | UPDATED: 17:51 25 August 2010
A BABY boy who died of horrendous head injuries also had two fractured ribs that were not spotted by doctors three weeks earlier, a court has heard. Bobby Louch was 21 months old when he was beaten to death by his mother, Collette Harris and her boyfri
A BABY boy who died of 'horrendous' head injuries also had two fractured ribs that were not spotted by doctors three weeks earlier, a court has heard.
Bobby Louch was 21 months old when he was beaten to death by his mother, Collette Harris and her boyfriend James Phillips, 25, at their home in Halcot Avenue, Bexleyheath, it was claimed at the Old Bailey last Monday.
He had 39 bruises to his head, face, ear and body as well as severe brain damage and ruptured internal organs when found by paramedics on the morning of December 29.
Jurors heard Harris, 30, of Chapel Close, Dartford, took him to Darent Valley Hospital three weeks earlier with a broken leg.
Following a child protection examination and full body x-ray, it was decided the injury was accidental.
But, paediatric pathologist Professor Rupert Risdon said that, at the time of post-mortem, Bobby also had old rib fractures, likely to be several weeks old that had 'probably' been caused before the hospital visit.
Professor Risdon said: "Although these fractures were probably there at that stage, they were not seen, although they were seen on x-ray immediately before post-mortem."
Asked how the fractures may have been caused, he said: "The usual method is squeezing of the chest. It is quite difficult to break a baby's ribs because they are quite pliable."
The Old Bailey has heard how paramedics found Bobby cold and stiff in his cot on the morning of December 29.
Professor Risdon said this indicated that the boy had probably been dead at least five hours.
He described 39 bruises and other injuries.
He added: "I think the important things are that the bruises on the forehead are very much an indication of a forceful impact to the head.
"We have evidence of really severe impact injury. These injuries are usually caused by impact against a hard surface such as a table or wall.
Harris reportedly told Bobby's father Dan Louch that he sustained the bruises to his face by banging his head on the cot. She also told one member of staff that Bobby had fallen off the sofa, the court heard. Harris and Phillips, of Dale View, Erith, both deny murder and causing or allowing the death of a child. The trial continues.