Child manslaughter case Jury out over baby’s death
A SUPREME Court jury will start deliberating on a verdict today in the case of a man accused of the manslaughter of a three-monthold baby girl.
Mark Albert Shoesmith has admitted t o accidentally dropping Rose-Marie Williams who was taken to the Proserpine Hospital on December 9, 2007.
The child’s life support was switched off five days later when she was airlifted to the Townsville Hospital because of severe skull fractures and extensive brain damage.
Mr Shoesmith, 3 0 , has pleaded not guilty to the manslaughter of the 13-weekol d i nfant who was t he daughter of his 17-year-old defacto, Kimberley Williams.
In closing submissions yesterday in front of Justice Kerry Cullinane, defence lawyer Greg Lynham said the case against his client was circumstantial as there was no direct evidence Mr Shoesmith inflicted deliberate harm on baby RoseMarie. ‘‘ It’s a sad, unfortunate, regrettable account but not one that would attract a finding that Mark Shoesmith committed manslaughter,’’ Mr Lynham said.
The defence claims RoseMarie’s head accidentally hit a coffee table and then concrete floor after she slipped between Mr Shoesmith’s legs when he fell asleep after feeding her, causing her fatal head injuries.
M r L y n h a m s a i d M r Shoesmith’ s a c c o unt e x - plained the child’s injuries and his client did not immediately tell hospital staff he dropped her earlier that morning because he thought he would get the blame.
The defence painted Mr Shoesmith as very dear and loving father who assumed a parental role for a child not biologically his own after reconnecting with a pregnant ex-girlfriend just days before Rose-Marie’s birth.
B u t C r o wn p r o s e c u t o r N i g e l R e e s a r g u e d M r Shoesmith was a repetitive liar who fibbed to his mother and sister about being the real father of the child.
Mr Rees said Mr Shoesmith gave various excuses to family about the causes of RoseMarie’s many injuries leading up to her death, including a bruise on the cheek, small bump on the head and broken collarbone.
T h e p r o s e c u t o r s a i d Shoesmith’s lying extended to not giving his alleged version of events to medical staff at the Proserpine Hospital and t aking t wo days t o finally make his admissions to investigating police.
The Crown case claims that after Mr Shoesmith fractured Rose-Marie’s head by forcibly hitting it against an object, he failed to act immediately, putting her back to bed with her mother and she wasn’t hospitalised until hours later.