DCSIMG

Father blamed son’s fatal injuries on pet dog

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A FATHER accused of murdering his baby son blamed the fatal injuries on the family dog, a court was told.

Eleven-month-old Kadan Beaumont died in hospital from head injuries which the prosecution say had been inflicted by his father Michael.

Sheffield Crown Court was told Michael Beaumont, 29, sent a photo of his son’s injuries to the mother Helen Barnes while she was at work the previous day.

A message with the picture read: “Look at my head mummy. Naughty Mia knocked me down the steps in the garden. I cut my neck as well. Don’t worry, daddy chased her round the garden and slapped her.”

Beaumont told the same story to friends and paramedics who were called to the house when Kadan collapsed.

The tot was found to have two recent fractures of the skull, bleeding in his eyes and on the surface of the brain as well as multiple bruises to his head an face.

He was rushed to hospital but despite the efforts of doctors at Sheffield Children’s Hospital died on September 28, 2011.

Robert Smith QC, prosecuting, said evidence would show that Kadan had been subjected to violence from when he 
was two months old. Expert analysis showed Kadan’s death was due to “non-accidental deliberate force by an adult towards this baby resulting in a serious head injury”.

He told a jury: “Beaumont is responsible for inflicting the injuries which caused Kadan’s death.”

Beaumont was living with Helen Barnes, 28, a teaching assistant, in Chapel Street, Hoyland Common, near Barnsley, at the time. It is alleged Barnes, who has a degree in early child studies, failed to seek medical attention for Kadan.

The court heard that Kadan was taken to his local GP on December 10, 2010 when he was seven weeks old after coughing up blood.

A week later he was taken to hospital with a “cauliflower” ear which a doctor thought may have been caused by a punch.

When both defendants were interviewed after Kadan’s death Barnes said she had lifted him over her shoulder two days previously and he “headbutted” her.

But this was dismissed by experts, said Mr Smith, who concluded that “considerable force” would have been needed to cause such injuries as Kadan had.

The pair also told police the tot suffered a head injury after falling out of his high chair two weeks before he collapsed.

However Mr Smith said there was clear evidence that Kadan had been subjected to regular violence. He told the jury Beaumont had lost his temper with the baby the day before and assaulted him, leaving him with extensive bruising the face.

Witnesses who saw Kadan in the street with Beaumont were shocked at the child’s appearance. Beaumont told them he had been knocked over by the family pet and Barnes repeated the story to a work colleague.

Mr Smith said: “No responsible parent would have ignored those injuries. Neither parent took any step to have him medically examined.”

He said both parents were “fearful” of the consequences.

“Beaumont had deliberately inflicted those injuries to his son and falsely claimed to Barnes that the dog had been responsible,” he said. “She had no excuse as a teaching assistant and mother for failing to take action to investigated those serious injuries and protect him from further abuse at the hands of Michael Beaumont.”

Beaumont denies murder and causing or allowing the death of a child while Barnes denies allowing the death of a child and cruelty to a person under-16.

The trial continues.

 

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