Jury hears consultant told police of concern over baby’s collapse

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A PAEDIATRIC consultant told a jury yesterday he contacted police and social services about a premature baby’s condition because of concerns about the cause of the youngster’s collapse.

Leighton O’Donnell was only 20 weeks old when he died on December 4, 2010, at Leeds General Infirmary following his transfer from York Hospital where he was first taken after his mother Gemma O’Donnell called an ambulance.

O’Donnell, 27 of Bright Street, York, denies the manslaughter of her son, who was born 13 weeks premature weighing only one pound 15oz.

The prosecution claim the baby suffered a non-accidental injury likely to have been caused by shaking which his mother has always denied.

Dr William O’Hare told Leeds Crown Court he had to consider any child protection issue when Leighton was brought to the LGI on November 29.

After speaking to the baby’s mother and considering available medical information he informed the relevant authorities “of my concerns that Leighton had been the subject of an inflicted brain injury”.

He said he had spoken to O’Donnell and her boyfriend Andrew White together.

She described waking the 
baby around 7am on November 28 because he was due to go into hospital that day for an operation but he only opened his eyes and appeared to go back to sleep and was not “whingeing” as he usually did.

She said she made a bottle for him but he was not interested and after 15 minutes had not taken any milk.

O’Donnell told him she put Leighton in his bouncy chair while she prepared a bath for 
him. She said the baby usually “created” when put in the bath but unusually did not do so that morning and she became concerned.

She woke Mr White and tried to ring her outreach nurse without success, then rang the York hospital instead.

While she was explaining the baby’s condition to the nurse there, Dr O’Hare said Mr White told him he had noticed the baby’s breathing was very, very faint.

He was told the baby then went pale and his lips were blue and the nurse told them to ring for an ambulance.

The trial continues next week.