Birmingham & Black Country

Two-week-old baby died from 'catastrophic' brain injuries, court hears

Daniel Sanzone murder trial Image copyright Helen Tipper
Image caption Daniel Sanzone denied murdering two-week-old son Joshua Millinson

A two-week-old baby died from "catastrophic and irreversible" brain injuries after being shaken by his father, a court has heard.

Medical experts said Joshua Millinson had suffered some of the most extreme brain injuries they had seen, Birmingham Crown Court heard.

He was not breathing and "floppy" when paramedics were called to his house on 24 October last year.

His father Daniel Sanzone denies murder.

The 23-year-old also denied child cruelty and causing or allowing Joshua's death.

Mother Zoe Howell, 19, who lived with Mr Sanzone in Whitburn Close, Pendeford, Wolverhampton, denied causing or allowing Joshua's death and child cruelty.

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'Lifeless' baby

Prosecuting, Sally Howes QC told the court Joshua had suffered "some form of shaking".

Experts also found evidence of previous injuries, she said, including a "forcible twisting of bones" from about a week prior to the call-out and rib and leg fractures that may have predated previous hospital visits.

The court heard Mr Sanzone was alone with the baby in the lounge when Ms Howell, who was in the kitchen, heard a "thud" before Joshua began "screaming more than he normally would".

When she asked her partner what the noise was he told her he had "dropped the remote", but Ms Howell was said to have seen the remote "still in its usual place", according to the prosecution.

Ms Howes said Joshua was "lifeless" and "gasping for air" when picked up by Mr Sanzone, with Ms Howell's mother Sharon Howell - who lived with the couple - stepping in to begin CPR while her daughter was "hysterical".

Image caption Joshua Millinson was not breathing and "floppy" by paramedics called out to his home, a court heard

Joshua was in intensive care at Birmingham Children's Hospital for nearly a month when a High Court order was issued to switch off his life support machine.

Ms Howell had objected, but her wishes were overruled after doctors said there was "no evidence he could see or hear".

The court heard Joshua had been taken to New Cross Hospital in Wolverhampton on 19 October when his parents were concerned about a rash.

A doctor recorded "normal" observations, the court heard, but when he was referred to a paediatrics ward for further assessment he was discharged by his mother, who later failed to attend a medical review.

Ms Howes told the court Ms Howell "appreciated the danger her son was in" and "allowed the death to happen".

The trial continues.

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