Jury hears of 14- week- old baby’s death Manslaughter trial
THE trial of a man accused of fatally injuring a newborn baby girl then allegedly lying about it has started in the Townsville Supreme Court.
A jury heard yesterday that Mark Albert Shoesmith, 30, had pleaded not guilty to the ma n s l a u g h t e r o f t h r e e - m o n t h - o l d R o s e - M a r i e Williams.
The Crown opened the case by telling the panel that from the outset it was alleged Mr Shoesmith’s actions had resulted in the death and there was a strong suggestion the fatal injuries were from non-accidental cause.
The 14-week-old infant died five days after the defendant and the child’s 17-year-old m o t h e r , K i m b e r l e y Wi l l i a m s , p r e s e n t e d a t Proserpine hospital on December 9, 2007 with head injuries.
R o s e - Mar i e wa s t r a n s - ported to Townsville Hospital the same day but five days later her life support was switched off due to extensive brain damage.
Mr Shoesmith’s account to police of how the infant got her injuries was that after a
a bottle-feed on Sunday morning, she hit her head on a coffee table and concrete floor when she accidentally fell from between his legs while he was sitting on the couch.
But the crown said it would allege the defendant hit the child in the head or hit her head against an object and that there was an element of shaking as well.
The court heard medical experts would give evidence in the trial that would claim the baby had injuries to the eye that were considered more or less in conjunction with a shaking injury. ‘‘ You will form the view that he had lied and this is no accident – that’s the issue in this trial,’’ the prosecutor said.
Ms Williams’ mother Sue Williams claimed in her evidence that Mr Shoesmith had given her two different accounts of how Rose-Marie was fatally injured.
The first explanation he had given was at the hospital the day the baby girl was admitted.
‘‘ We asked how it happened and we were told she fell off the bed on Saturday, early in the morning,’’ Sue Williams said. The court heard that on the following day, Monday, Mr S h o e s mi t h t o l d t h e child’s grandmother that on the Sunday morning he had sat on the bed and the child had rolled down on to the floor.
Sue Williams was tearful when asked about injuries the baby had in the weeks prior to her death, including a broken collar bone and a bruised cheek.
‘‘. . . She was a happy baby and had started to move around,’’ she said when a s ked a b o ut t he c hi l d ’ s demeanour.