Advertisement

Five-week-old baby died after neck 'snapped' following days of abuse, murder trial hears

A five-week-old baby died after suffering 37 fractures to his skull, collar bone, arms, ribs and all the joints of all his limbs, a murder trial has heard.

A jury at Leicester Crown Court was told Ollie Davis was found lifeless in his room on 21 October 2017 and died from the delayed effects of a broken neck inflicted up to eight days previously.

While the "precise mechanism" has been difficult to identify, prosecutor John Hankin KC said experts agree the neck injury led to compression of the spinal cord, which "in turn stopped Ollie breathing".

Prosecutors say Ollie was injured while in the care of his mother Kayleigh Driver, 31, and father 29-year-old Michael Davis, who both deny murder and causing or allowing death.

"Ollie could not have caused the injuries to himself - he was a five-week-old pre-mobile baby," Mr Hankin said, as the prosecution opened its case on Wednesday.

"A broken neck was not the only injury Ollie sustained. Medical investigation revealed Ollie had sustained a total of 37 fractures.

"They included fractures to the skull, his collar bone, both arms between the shoulder and the elbow, 23 rib fractures and fractures to the joints of all four limbs.

"He also suffered brain injuries, bleeding over the surface of the brain."

Mr Hankin said Ollie was subjected to serious physical abuse "most likely to have taken place during the last 10 days of his life".

"The nature of these injuries is such that multiple mechanisms were required to cause them," he said.

"Severe compressive force is required to cause the rib fractures. These injuries and the events that caused them could not have taken place in a single episode of violence."

Mr Hankin told the jury it is "common ground" between the defendants that Davis was in sole charge of Ollie overnight on 20 October and the following day.

Referring to an injury on Ollie's left first rib, he added: "If you are satisfied that that was an inflicted injury then he must have been the perpetrator because he was the sole adult carer responsible for the baby at around the time the injury must have been caused.

Read more on Sky News:
Police force refers itself to watchdog after toddler found starved to death
No evidence racism played role in death of Christopher Kapessa

"You may think also that it's most likely that he is the perpetrator of all of Ollie's other abusive injuries."

Neither Driver, who appeared in court on a mobility scooter after being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis last year, nor Davis have explained the injuries, Mr Hankin said.

Davis denies two counts of causing grievous bodily harm with intent, causing or allowing a child to suffer serious physical harm, causing or allowing the death of a child, and murder.

Driver also denies causing grievous bodily harm with intent, causing or allowing a child to suffer serious physical harm, causing or allowing the death of a child, and murder.

The court heard both - who live on Carlisle Street, in Leicester - deny any wrongdoing, with each saying that they did not cause their son any physical harm at all.

The trial continues.