Father ‘caused baby son’s fatal head injury’

Hull Royal Infirmary
Hull Royal Infirmary
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A MAN accused of inflicting his baby son’s “terrible” fatal head injuries tried to cover up his actions with a series of lies, a court heard today.

Liam Laverick, 25, shook or threw his baby son Tommy Lee Laverick-Whitworth with such force that he suffered a catastrophic brain injury, fell rapidly unconscious and died the following day, a jury at Hull Crown Court heard.

Among various accounts, Laverick told girlfriend Kelly Whitworth that on his way to her, pushing the child in a pram, his trousers fell down and he fell to his knees.

However when he was later checked in at the police station the first thing that was removed was a belt and the claims were not supported by CCTV. “It may be another way of trying to explain some degree of trauma,” said Nicholas Lumley QC, opening the case for the prosecution.

The court was told Miss Whitworth fell pregnant with Tommy Lee just six months after their first child and Laverick had asked her to terminate the pregnancy, but she had refused. The child - who was just under four weeks old when he died last September - cried “perhaps more than the average baby, perhaps not,” Mr Lumley said. “The crying used to annoy Liam Laverick. He found it very frustrating,” he added.

The court heard the baby was left asleep in his pushchair in the bedroom of their flat in Linnaeus Street, Hull, with Laverick and the other child, while Miss Whitworth popped round to her sister’s last September 23.

When she left him the infant was fine, but within minutes Laverick was outside, and the baby’s face was green.

Mr Lumley said although the child was limp and lifeless, rather than go straight to Hull Royal Infirmary which was closer by, Laverick chose to go to the sister’s house showing he “knew what he had done” and “delaying the discovery by doctors and nurses of what he had done.”

Mr Lumley said: “It is not suggested that he meant to kill or cause him catastrophic injuries, rather that his deliberate actions - without thought for the obvious consequences - make him criminally responsible for the death of Tommy Lee.”

Laverick told a doctor the child had woken pale and not breathing and he had been rushing to get him to his mother “when his feet became tangled in a lamp cable and he fell to the floor” and he could not be sure whether he had banged his head or any other part of his body.

He told police a “slightly different version” that Tommy sounded like he was choking and he tried to clear whatever was in his throat by winding him. Miss Whitworth was told Tommy was bouncing around as he struggled to push the pram over potholes.

“None of these accounts explain adequately or at all the terrible head injuries suffered by Tommy Lee,” Mr Lumley said.

The infant had suffered a deep bruise under the right eye. “It remains to be seen how that can be accounted for other by some deliberate blow to the face.” Laverick denies manslaughter. The case continues.