A father violently shaken his son, leaving him with 50 broken bones, broken legs, and bleeding on his brain, which eventually led to his death, according to a court hearing today.
Chantelle Stroud (25), and James Lawton (28), sat in the Reading Crown Court dock as the jury was informed that Colby Lawton had died from a series of injuries including leg breaks, skull fractures, and bruising.
Paramedics were called to Stroud’s flat in Newbury Berks. in the early hours of May 9, after the couple dialed 999 when Colby stopped breathing.
Eloise Marshall, the prosecutor, told the jury that the jury was informed by Eloise Marshall that a post-mortem examination revealed that the tot had suffered terrible injuries due to Lawton’s brutal shaking.
She stated that Colby’s death was caused by a traumatic brain injury. He died from a brain injury.
Colby sustained injuries that were so severe that an observer would have to see them to understand how they should treat a child.
“There is no doubt Colby was alive at some point and in Lawton’s care.” It is not an accident that Lawton was the last person to help Colby collapse because Lawton attacked him and caused Colby’s death.
Reading Crown Court (pictured) heard how James Lawton, 28, allegedly shook his son, Colby, so violently he was left with broken legs, brain bleeds and 50 rib fractures
Dr. Brett Lockyer conducted a post-mortem exam and discovered more than 14 bruises in Colby’s right thigh. There was also a severe brain trauma and 50 rib fractures. Some of these indicated that Colby had been forced to squeeze his chest.
The child also had broken all of his long bones in his legs. These were the result of the legs being pulled and twisted as happens when a baby shakes.
Reading Crown Court heard from the jury that Colby was born just weeks after the UK’s coronavirus lockdown.
The jury was informed that Lawton, 28, had become increasingly unhappy with Colby in the days preceding his son’s death and was no longer willing to care for him.
High Court Judge Mrs Justice Stacey said that Colby noticed a lump in his head two days prior to his death. It turned out to have been a skull fracture.
Lawton allegedly caused this by violent shaking of his son or hitting his head hard with a hard object.
Ms Marshall, the prosecutor, also described an incident in Stroud’s flat where she and her neighbors heard a loud, piercing scream.
She explained that Stroud was returning from shopping with a neighbor when they heard a loud, piercing scream.
“It was not the kind of scream that one would expect to hear from a newborn child. Stroud stated that it was Colby and that he had been doing it a lot lately.
Medical experts believed that screams such as the one heard could indicate a brain injury or be caused by another attack on a child.
The prosecutor stated earlier that Stroud had lied to midwives during a series of visits following Lawton’s birth. He claimed Lawton had only moved in for the lockdown and not been in the house for several months.
She had told a midwife there were no domestic issues or incidents with James, but neighbors refuted this series.
“She was lying about her relationship to Lawton because she and her child knew Lawton was a danger, but they were aware that social services would have had an impact on their circumstances if they knew,” Ms Marshall said.
The court heard from Lawton that he had shown a shocking disregard for his son’s welfare in the days leading up to Colby’s death.
Colby Lawton, a one-month-old baby, died in Newbury Berkshire (pictured above), in May last year.
He threatened to throw Colby off a roof, while on another occasion he tried to drown out his cries with loud music to drown them out.
Ms Marshall said that neighbors heard Colby crying upstairs. Lawton was playing music to drown it out.
The jury heard that Lawton was aggressive towards Colby and Stroud in the days leading up to Colby’s passing. Stroud kicked him out of his house not for the first.
Ms Marshall explained that she was aware that Lawton could be violent towards their child during the time leading up to Colby’s passing. Stroud kicked Lawton away from the house two weeks prior to his death.
“He told Stroud he didn’t love her nor have any feelings for her or their boy. Lawton was able to resolve the dispute and returned home, despite the advice of their neighbours and friends.
The court heard that Lawton had neglected Colby repeatedly and that Stroud had told a neighbor that they had argued that it was unlikely that they would ever be able to get over the fact that Lawton claimed Colby wasn’t his child.
The jury was informed by Lawton that he demanded a paternity exam even after Colby’s passing.
Lawton, of Boreham Field in Warminster (Wiltshire), denies murder, causing grievous body harm with intent, and committing cruelty towards a person less than 16 years of age.
Stroud, Newtown Road, Newbury (Berks), also denies causing or permitting the death of a child, and cruelty to a person less than 16 years old.
According to the pair, Lawton was watching TV in his living-room when Colby started grizzling. After he gave Colby some milk, the child became floppy. All injuries that medics believe were caused by Colby being violently shaken.
The trial continues.