The­ory of baby death ‘ a fan­tasy’

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - LUCY SMITH

DE­FENCE bar­ris­ter Lin­coln Crow­ley has told a court the idea Ni­cholas Bax­ter shook or struck his son to death was “pure fan­tasy”.

Ex- sol­dier Bax­ter, 37, was home with six- week- old Matthew on November 3, 2011 – it was the day the baby col­lapsed and was taken to the Townsville Hos­pi­tal neona­tal in­ten­sive care unit.

Matthew’s life sup­port was switched off three days later, and his fa­ther is fac­ing a mur­der trial.

Mr Crow­ley made his clos­ing ar­gu­ments in Townsville Supreme Court yes­ter­day, fol­low­ing four weeks of pros­e­cu­tion and de­fence wit­nesses.

He said the pros­e­cu­tion had come up with a “the­ory” to ex­plain Matthew’s brain swelling and bleed­ing and reti­nal haem­or­rhages.

“The med­i­cal find­ings are one thing, but the the­ory that’s said to sup­port it is some­thing which is pure fan­tasy in this case,” he said. “Ni­cholas Bax­ter did not mur­der his own boy. He did not kill him. He did not harm him.”

Mr Crow­ley said Matthew’s treat­ing doc­tors, who told the court they sus­pected in­flicted trauma, re­lied on an un­sci­en­tific “as­sump­tion of abuse”.

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