'Baby died after beating with shoe' - court hears
5:59pm Wednesday 9th July 2014 in News
A MAN accused of murdering a six-week-old baby he was looking after beat the child with a shoe and plastic bottle causing him brain damage, a court heard.
Michael Pearce, of Nelson, was babysitting Alfie Sullock at his home on August 16 last year as his mother left him alone for the first time since giving birth, Newport Crown Court heard today.
After the child’s mother Donna Sullock text Pearce to check her child was okay, he replied at 8.43pm telling her, “You can trust me you know”, prosecutor Michael Mathers-Lee QC told a jury.
Half an hour later paramedics arrived at the Station Terrace address where they found Alfie cold, he said.
Mr Mathers-Lee said a post-mortem examination found he died of blunt trauma head injuries, while forensic examination found marks on his body consistent with being hit with the sole of a shoe and a plastic bottle.
Peace, 33, denies murder and an alternative charge of manslaughter.
During his opening speech, Mr Mathers-Lee played the court the defendant’s’ 999’ call when he told the operator: “I have tried to give him mouth to mouth and I can’t seem to get him to breathe again I’m sorry. I can’t see his chest moving up and down.
“I gave him his bottle, he slept for about an hour and that was it.”
Pearce can be heard on the recording saying: “Oh my god. Come on Alfie, come on boy. I can’t believe this is happening to me.”
Paramedics arrived and took Alfie, from Cardiff, to the Prince Charles Hospital in Merthyr Tydfil.
Doctors found he had extensive brain damage and asphyxia and he was officially declared dead at 1.07pm on August 20, when his life support was switched off.
The court heard Miss Sullock met Pearce in April last year and began to date her while she was pregnant with Alfie.
On August 16 last year, the court heard Pearce offered to look after Alfie while Miss Sullock went out with a friend, the first time she had gone out socially without her son.
Mr Mathers-Lee said: “The prosecution say the baby was baby was perfectly well when Miss Sullock left the house.”
He said Miss Sullock fed and winded Alfie before she left and all appeared normal.
While she was out, the defendant text her two photos of the baby, saying he was fine, Mr Mathers-Lee said.
After receiving the first photo Miss Sullock asked if the baby had been crying as his face looked red. She was told that the baby had had wind, but was fine, the prosecution said.
Mr Mathers-Lee said that Alfie was “blue and cold” by the time the paramedics arrived, adding: “It takes a while for a baby to go cold.”
He said bruising was found to the child’s face, although this may have come from Pearce’s attempts at resuscitation, and that marks including scratches and grazing were found on the child’s body.
He told the jury: “This was not a one-off moment of exasperation, as can tragically happen with a screaming child. This was a baby that was repeatedly beaten, beaten with objects.
“You hear of sudden infant death syndrome. It’s not a case like that. This is a child who has been beaten and as a result of that beating dies. He killed him.”
He said the defendant was arrested but could not explain the injuries.
Mr Mathers-Lee told the court: “The prosecution say that other than admitting guilt, there is no sensible explanation. He has continued to deny matters.”