Wales

Ebbw Vale father denies shaking his baby to death

Cody Rhys Williams-Jones Image copyright Family photo
Image caption Cody Rhys Williams-Jones's father says he suffered the fatal injuries in a fall

A father has denied shaking his 15-week-old baby to death, claiming the injuries were caused when he accidentally dropped him.

Matthew Jones, 26, from Beaufort, Blaenau Gwent, denies the murder or manslaughter of Cody Rhys Williams-Jones in December 2016.

Mr Jones told Newport Crown Court Cody fell onto a mattress below and bounced up to 2ft (0.6m) in the air.

Cody died in hospital of his injuries a day later.

Mr Jones is accused of shaking the infant so hard that his eyes bled and he suffered catastrophic head injuries.

But giving evidence in his defence, he claimed he was reaching for teething gel to soothe Cody when the baby kicked against him and fell from his grip.

"The top of his neck fell back onto the mattress with his legs in the air. His legs then came over with his body weight on top of him," he told the court.

"I panicked. Cody had never been like that before. I didn't expect him to be injured falling onto a bed."

Image copyright Family photo
Image caption Cody's mother Paula Williams was not present when he suffered his injuries

The trial has heard examinations after the baby had died revealed previous injuries, including 13 broken ribs and a fractured shoulder.

He had so many haemorrhages in his eyes, the pathologist said it was impossible to count them.

Prosecutor Paul Lewis QC said: "The medical evidence is such that an accidental fall can be excluded.

"Cody's injuries were as a result of deliberate violence probably in the form of both shaking and impact."

Richard Smith QC, defending, told the court Mr Jones, who played rugby for Ebbw Vale and Newbridge was "working very hard indeed supporting his newborn child".

"He is a good man, not an evil man. He was a good father and parent and above all else he loved Cody."

The trial continues.

Image caption Matthew Jones was described by his defence barrister as "a good man"

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