Baby died after 'deliberate and repeated violence'

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The Independent Online

A child who died after being kicked and punched had around 80 injuries and bruises to his body, the Old Bailey heard yesterday.

Bobby Louch, who was 21 months old, was covered in bruises. Damage to his brain and abdomen was so great that either could have killed him, jurors heard.

The boy was killed by either his mother Collette Harris or her new boyfriend James Phillips – or both, said Richard Whittam QC, for the prosecution. If only one killed him, the other failed to stop it happening, he added.

Ms Harris, 30, of Dartford, Kent, and Mr Phillips, 25, of Erith, Kent, deny murdering Bobby on 29 December 2008. They also deny an alternative charge of causing or allowing his death.

Bobby died at the family home in Bexleyheath, south-east London, where a paramedic found him on a bed. A neighbour said he heard "a baby whimpering" in the early hours of the morning. Later, Ms Harris rang for an ambulance, saying: "My baby won't wake up," said Mr Whittam. He added: "At the time of his death, Bobby Louch was covered in bruises. There is compelling evidence that the multiple injuries were the result of deliberate and repeated violence."

A post mortem examination by Professor Rupert Risdon of Great Ormond Street Hospital found he had died from non-accidental multiple injuries caused by kicking and punching. Bobby had 40 injuries to his head and body. These included two broken ribs, bleeding in the spine, massive damage to the brain and severe injuries to the abdomen, including damaged liver and pancreas.

Bobby's face had been covered in bruises of differing colours and which were less than 48 hours old. Bobby also had a contact burn to his right hand and his right leg was in plaster because of a fracture 20 days earlier.

The case continues.