Kent

Lee Vernon murder trial: Baby 'shaken to death by dad'

Stock baby Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption McKenzie Ellis suffered a fractured skull and a fatal bleed on the brain

A father inflicted "non-accidental" injuries including a fractured skull on his six-week-old baby, a court has heard.

Lee Vernon, 21, is accused of murdering McKenzie Ellis who was just 47 days old when he died from a bleed on the brain.

A jury at Maidstone Crown Court heard baby McKenzie's injuries were as a result of "being shaken with a firm grip".

Mr Vernon, from Broadstairs, denies murder.

Prosecutor Steven Perian QC said: "On 23 July 2018, 44 days after his birth, McKenzie was rushed to the QEQM hospital because he was unresponsive and in an unconscious state.

"His pupils were fixed and his left eye was bloodshot, there were no obvious signs of bruising to his body.

"When the clinicians examined him they discovered he had a severe bleed on the brain, a broken collar bone, which was a fresh injury, five broken ribs on one side and six broken ribs on the other side."

'Manipulative liar'

McKenzie was taken to Kings College London but his life support machine was turned off on 26 July.

Mr Perian said: "The prosecution say Lee Vernon intentionality inflicted non accidental injuries on his son which resulted in a bleed on the brain. It was a fatal injury.

"The fatal head injury was caused by shaking the child with a firm grip to the chest causing the rib fractures and we also suggest there has been forcible twisting and pulling of his lower limbs."

"We suggest Lee Vernon is a manipulative liar and was able to provide a convincing account that was inconsistent with the medical evidence gathered by the prosecution."

The jury was also told Mr Vernon had searched on the web using terms including "I grabbed my baby too hard" and "have you ever accidentally hurt your child when they are having a meltdown".

The jury heard McKenzie lived with his mother Katrina Ellis in her home on Linley Road, St Peters, Broadstairs, and Mr Vernon would sometimes stay with them.

He denies murder and two counts of GBH with intent. He has already pleaded guilty to manslaughter.

The Honourable Mr Justice Nicklin told the jury Mr Vernon says he accidentally dropped the baby, panicked and tried to revive his son by hugging and squeezing him.

The trial continues.

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