Jury shown videos of murder accused battering baby

Shocking video clips taken by a man slapping and kicking a crying 15-month-old boy he later allegedly murdered have been shown to a court.

Jurors held hands over their mouths as they watched the clips taken on a mobile phone as the screams and cries of baby Charlie Hunt rang out in the hushed courtroom yesterday.

Darren Newton, 32, from Earby, Lancashire, took the videos for his "pleasure" and "satisfaction" as over a number of months he abused his girlfriend's young son, Manchester Crown Court heard.

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Newton hid his "dark and wicked side" to film the graphic clips while Charlie's mother, Laura Chapman, was out of the house and the factory worker was left alone with the youngster.

Titles of the clips included: "Crying, no toys in pen, ahhhh", "Squeezing toe in cot", "Two minutes of pain" and "Shivering no water", taken when Charlie was naked in an empty bath. In one, titled "Happy Slap" taken two weeks before the boy died, and a precursor, the prosecution alleges, to the fatal attack, Newton is seen to slap the child 12 times on the head as he screams and cries.

As tears rolled down the cheeks of the sobbing child, Newton is also seen forcing his finger into the tot's ear then roughly twisting the ear as the youngster raises his hand in defence.

The clip ends with the crying child being kicked on the floor.

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Newton has pleaded guilty to 12 counts of child cruelty but denies two further counts of child cruelty and denies the murder of Charlie on November 19 last year.

Dennis Watson QC, prosecuting, told the jury Ms Chapman met Newton in early 2009, after moving in next door to him, where he lived with his parents in Earby. She thought her life had "taken a turn for the better" as Newton had a job and she thought him a "quiet man, a caring man and a loving man".

In months leading up to his death, Charlie had been taken to hospital suffering from vomiting and "fits" but was discharged with the youngster appearing "clingy" but soon back to his old self. But on the afternoon of November 19 last year, Newton was again left alone with the youngster.

Within two hours, he went next door for help from his mother, and as his father gave mouth-to-mouth to the child, he called an ambulance. The boy was rushed to Airedale Hospital near Keighley but despite a team of medics trying to save the child he was pronounced dead at 5.45pm.

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Doctors noticed he had bruises on his right eyelid, right cheek and right big toe, the court heard.

Newton later told police he had played with the child and fed him but when he went to change his nappy noticed his eye's were "glazed". He said the boy looked like he had had a fit but tests showed he had suffered massive head trauma.

The trial continues.

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