Baby had maggots in ear and broken bones: Court hears

Staff reportersAlbany Advertiser

An eight-month old boy had to be taken away from his drug-addicted parents after maggots were discovered in his ear along with multiple limb fractures, bruises and bite marks.

The boy’s injuries are the subject of an eight-day trial in the Albany District Court where his two parents are charged with knowingly and recklessly engaging in conduct that may have resulted in harm to the child in 2015.

Opening the State case yesterday, State prosecutor David Davidson said authorities became involved with the case in October 2015, eight months after he was born prematurely in Denmark after bite marks were discovered by the child’s daycare centre.

The court heard when examined by a doctor, a rib, right forearm and lower leg fracture were identified and the child had bite marks and bruises, was undernourished and had to have maggots removed from his ear.

Mr Davidson said friends and family of the couple had made observations the child had an abnormally large head and could not sit upright unsupported with head trauma later discovered by scans.

Mr Davidson said expert medical evidence during the trial would indicate the head trauma suffered by the infant was “highly suspicious” of being inflicted and the fractures were “non consistent of being an accident”

He said the couple did not bring the injuries to the attention of health professionals, had a history of non-attendance to medical appointments and discharged their child early from hospital after it’s birth, against medical advice.

Mr Davidson said the parents’ drug addiction illustrated a lack of care for their child but they were not charged with causing injuries to the child.

When interviewed by police, the 18-year-old mother denied being violent or biting or shaking her child and was “shocked” to hear of the injuries.

The father could also not offer an explanation to the injuries when interviewed by police and had not noticed the child’s enlarged head.

The defence counsel for the mother, Helen Prince, said the case was a very emotional one and her client who was 18 years old at the time, would not wilfully ignore her child’s health.

Defence counsel representing the father, Paul Chapman, said his client accepted he had a drug problem at the time.

“The drug habit at the time did not affect him to the stage where he became criminally negligent towards his son,” he said.

The trial continues.

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