Man ‘killed baby by shaking him’, court is told.

Nottingham Crown COurt.
Nottingham Crown COurt.

A young Huthwaite man has gone on trial accused of killing a four-and-a-half-month-old baby by shaking him to death.

A jury was told that Scott Gladwin was left to look after the baby and his toddler brother while their mother went to the shops - a 10-minute walk away.

Gladwin, now 20 but only 16 at the time, has denied a charge of manslaughter.

Yvonne Coen, QC, prosecuting, said the baby suffered a catastrophic internal head injury and died in hospital three days later after his life support was turned off.

“The defendant is the only candidate for causing the injury,” she told the jury.

“Perhaps in a moment of temper or frustration, he gripped and shook the baby.”

Gladwin was looking after the baby, who cannot be named for legal reasons, on 3rd February, 2010.

The boy was a healthy 8lbs 9oz when born and all the indications were he was in good health, the court was told.

No problems had been reported when he was last seen by the health visitor on a routine visit.

His mother left him sitting in his car seat. She was heading for the Post Office to get some money and was also calling in at the Co-op.

But within half-an-hour the baby had suffered a fatal injury.

Miss Coen told the jury: “There were no witnesses, the only person who knows what happened is the defendant.”

At 1.25pm, Gladwin knocked on the door of a neighbour and asked the man to come and look at the baby.

The child looked as ‘white as a sheet’ and the neighbour called 999.

The neighbour followed the operator’s instructions and tried mouth to mouth resuscitation and cardiac massage before the ambulance arrived.

The child’s mother arrived back just as the ambulance was about to leave and travelled with the youngster to King’s Mill Hospital.

The baby was then transferred to Nottingham’s Queen’s Medical Centre.

Gladwin said he had gone up to the toilet. He said the baby looked pale but he thought nothing of it.

When he came back down he noticed the baby’s tongue was hanging out ‘like he was having fits’.

Gladwin told the neighbour he tried shouting at the baby to get a reaction and put water on his head to try to wake him up.

When interviewed by the police he said he had been lying on the settee watching TV before going to the toilet 15 minutes after the mother left.

He denied causing the injuries and said he had not touched the baby at all.

The court heard the older boy - the baby’s brother- had been riding around on his trike. But it was not suggested he had caused the injuries.

Doctors found damage to the brain and bleeding to the eye, consistent with shaking and had not been able to find any other explanation, the court was told.

The jury is set to hear evidence from neighbours, health visitors, paramedics and police officers.

The judge, Mr Justice Macduff, warned the jury they will be hearing ‘quite complicated medical evidence.’

The trial at Nottingham Crown Court is expected to last up to four weeks.