Baby’s injuries detailed
MEDICAL experts were yesterday called to recount the moments leading up to the death of three-month-old Rose-Marie Williams.
Mark Albert Shoesmith, 30, has pleaded not guilty to the manslaughter of the infant, before Justice Kerry Cullinane in the Supreme Court in Townsville.
Five medical workers were called to give evidence via video link from the Proserpine Hospital yesterday.
The 14-week-old infant died five days after the defendant and the child’s 1 7 - y e a r - o l d m o t h e r , K i m b e r l e y Williams, took her to Proserpine hospital on December 9, 2007 with head injuries. Rose-Marie was transported to Townsville Hospital the same day but five days later her life support was switched off due to extensive brain damage.
Crown prosecutor Nigel Rees this week argued there was a strong suggestion the fatal injuries were from a nonaccidental cause.
Dr Martin Carr yesterday recounted a medical examination on the child in November 2007. Dr Carr said the couple booked their daughter in for an appointment after the three-month-old was struggling to lift her left arm above her head.
‘‘ Her father said his daughter didn’t want to lift her arm above her head so he was bringing her in to find out why,’’ Dr Carr said. ‘‘ During the course of lifting her left arm above her head I noticed a lump on her left collarbone.
‘‘ I recommended they seek an X-ray to . . . find out what needed to be done.’’
Dr Kenneth McCallum, a medical practitioner at the hospital for about eight years, was called into work on December 9, 2007, to intubate the unconscious baby. The child is believed to have sustained a torn frenula, in her mouth, which connect the cheeks to the gum.
Defence barrister Greg Lynham cross-examined the practitioner yesterday, arguing the child’s frenula could have been damaged during the intubation process.
Dr McCallum said the procedure was straight forward. ‘‘ I have intubated several hundred newborn babies,’’ he said.
‘‘ Sometimes in difficult intubations that can happen but I recall this particular intubation being very straight forward and easy.
‘‘ I don’t recall there being any bleeding from the mouth that would have suggested that the frenula had been torn.’’
Assisting Dr McCallum was Dr Melanie Lewis, who told the court the infant appeared to have a grid-like pattern of indents on her nose, a dilated left eye, and a linear bruise on her forehead when taken into hospital.
The trial continues on Monday.