Murdered baby’s mum on trial

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A BABY aged four months died as a result of “deliberate and violent shaking”, a court has heard.

Karen Irvine, 19, of Gerrard Street, Lancaster, and Christopher Roberts, 19, of Garth Lane, Powys, North Wales, are accused of assaulting Lucas Irvine violently enough to cause massive swelling of the brain and bleeding eyes.

Prosecutor Anthony Watson told the jury of seven men and five women at Preston Crown Court that Lucas had been “assaulted” and that both defendants were responsible.

He said: “This was a deliberate shaking that caused severe injuries and Lucas died from those injuries.

“The prosecution submit that for both of them to tell so many lies from the very start is a clear sign that they were in this together,” he added.

Mr Watson also told the jury about two previous injuries which the baby had suffered just months before his death.

Suspicions were raised in November 2010 when neighbours in Scotforth heard a scream just before 11pm, followed by a loud knock on their door.

They answered to find Irvine, who said: “My baby’s dead.”

Neighbour Christine Christian, a former midwife, went next door to find the girl’s partner on the landing holding the child who was grey and unconscious.

Lucas, who was a twin, was taken to the Royal Lancaster Infirmary but died four days later after being transferred to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool.

Mr Watson QC told a jury that he did not know which of the two defendants had shaken the baby “but they shared an intention to cause him really serious harm”.

“Both are responsible for the death. Both told lies from the very start, from the 999 call, to the doctors at hospital and to the police... from the moment of Lucas’ collapse,” he said.

“One of them has clearly shaken Lucas. That is beyond doubt.”

A post mortem examination revealed that Lucas died from a “non-accidental head and spinal injury” and that his brain was “massively swollen” which was consistent with “deliberate and violent shaking”.

Mr Watson said each had blamed the other for being “volatile and behaving in a frightening and aggressive way”.

Both defendants, who are on bail, deny murder, manslaughter and causing or allowing the death of a child.