The four-month-old baby who died after allegedly being shaken by a teenage boy from Huthwaite had suffered ‘catastrophic’ injuries to his eyes, a court was told.
Scott Gladwin (20) has denied the manslaughter of baby Scott Cawthorne, who died on 6th February 2010, and who had been left in Gladwin’s care at his home on Woodland Avenue while the baby’s mum Kelly Middleton went to the shops.
Nottingham Crown Court today heard from consultant eye pathologist Dr Richard Bonshek, who examined the baby’s eyes after he died.
Dr Bonshek told the court that he found a ‘severe degree of retinal bleeding’ in both of baby Scott’s eyes.
He also identified bleeding in the macular area, optic nerve sheath haemorrhage, bleeding in the junction between the sclera and the optic nerve and bleeding outside of the eye.
The vitreous, the clear gel that fills the space between the lens and the retina of the eyeball, was also cloudy with dispersed blood.
Dr Bonshek estimated the injuries to have occurred between 12 and 72 hours prior to death and described them as ‘catastrophic in terms of vision’.
“If you put that all together it indicates there’s likely to have been severe trauma that’s caused it,” he said.
The damage to the eyes would have happened at the same time as the baby suffered the damage to his brain that had been identified by scans, he added.
Dr Bonshek concluded that the injuries were consistent with a non-accidental injury and though he did not know what had caused them in this case, such injuries have before occurred as a result of shaking.
Dr Bonshek’s examination also found evidence of older bleeding to the eyes but this had obviously been less severe. He could not rule out that this was also as a result of a non-accidental cause.
The court then heard from the paramedic and ambulance technician who attended the 999 call made after baby Scott was taken ill on 3rd February.
Craig Hall, the ambulance technician, described the job as a ‘grab and run’ because the baby was so ill.
He said his colleague was doing CPR on the baby and he could see straight away the tot was not breathing and had blood coming from its nose.
Kelly Middleton returned home from the shops just before the ambulance left and she got in to travel to hospital with her son.
“She was in a concerned state initially then when she saw the patient was not breathing she became very distressed,” Mr Hall said.
The trial continues.