Baby’s injuries ‘no accident’

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A BABY allegedly attacked by a man accused of attacking three pregnant women had a string of “non-accidental” and life-threatening injuries, a court has heard.

James Paterson, 23, is accused of attempting to murder three mums-to-be, raping two of them and attacking two babies at addresses in Fife and Edinburgh.

One doctor told the High Court in Aberdeen yesterday that two broken ribs revealed during X-rays carried out on the tot were consistent with an adult squeezing him with “all their might”.

Dr Alastair Wilkinson, a radiologist at the Sick Kids in Edinburgh, said he had compiled a report based on skull and rib fractures suffered by the four-month-old. He said the rib fractures which the baby had could only be considered accidental if they had occurred in an incident such as a car crash.

He told the court: “The most likely, if not the only, cause of this is inflicted injury. A possible mechanism would be an adult squeezing the baby’s chest with all his or her might. Other mechanisms include stamping on the baby's chest.

Paterson is accused of severely injuring and endangering the life of the baby by repeatedly grabbing him by the body and throwing him against a headboard.

It is also alleged he prevented the child’s mother from tending to him, dropped the baby on the floor, bound him tightly in a blanket and rolled him into a cot, causing him to bang his head and body on the bars.

The alleged violence was said to have started the day the infant was born.

The trial previously heard Paterson had admitted to police that he had dropped the baby on to a carpeted chair on two occasions and dropped the tot on to a bathroom floor from a “bouncy chair” while picking it up.

But Dr Wilkinson said it was very unlikely the injuries were caused by the baby falling or being dropped.

The trial also heard forensic physician Dr Kranti Hiremath describe a string of bruises found on the baby’s body. She said the bruises were very rare in a young, immobile baby.

Both doctors said the injuries could have been life- threatening if they had not been discovered or treated.

Dr Hiremath also told how one of the pregnant women Paterson allegedly tried to kill was admitted to hospital with “possible boot marks” on her stomach.

She said she was then asked to investigate the medical history of two other women, one of which described being hit in the stomach with a baseball bat two weeks after giving birth.

The trial also heard from Paterson’s mum, Maxine, 45, who said she saw her son “fly at” one of the alleged victims and pull the hair of another and drag her to a car after the woman spat at him.

The former hygiene assistant also said Paterson’s third alleged victim had confided in her of serious assaults at the hands of her son, claiming he kicked and “strangled her”.

Paterson, of Cardenden, Fife, denies all 11 charges against him, which date between January 2006 and July last year.

The trial, before Lord Matthews, continues.