A YOUNG Bridlington man allegedly hit and shook toddlers causing a fractured skull and a brain bleed to two separate children in his care.
Adam Hewitt, 25, is on trial at Hull Crown Court accused of two charges of causing grievous bodily harm with intent to cause serious harm, in 2008 and 2009.
Crown barrister Simon Waley told the jury Hewitt shook, threw and smacked the toddlers – who were not his own – while looking after them.
In the first incident the mother became alarmed when told Hewitt had been seen swinging her child by one arm and one leg in front of her friends and was alleged to have thrown the toddler head-first on to an old, rough settee.
On another occasion Hewitt had been left with the child and when his mother returned home it was screaming and crying.
Hewitt allegedly told her: “I don’t know what to do with him. I can’t get him to shut up.”
The mother, said Mr Waley, took the child to Bridlington Hospital, but only after a referral by her GP was it examined by doctors at Hull Royal Infirmary, where the child was found to have skull fractures.
“It can only have been caused by a high-energy impact. It would have been very painful. It was a complex fracture indicative of a great degree of force,” said Mr Waley, adding that at the time the mother did not tell police.
In the incident involving the second toddler, Mr Waley said its mother had noticed bruising on the child after Hewitt had been with him, and on one occasion saw what appeared to be a handprint on the child’s face. On a separate occasion she had called an ambulance after the child was breathing heavily and began to have fits.
“He was found to have a massive subdural hematoma,” said Mr Waley.
“He had substantial bleeding to the brain and bleeding to the eye. He required an emergency operation and a significant amount of blood in a transfusion.
“He remained in intensive care. They also found a number of fractures to the ribs and the leg.”
The police were called and experts concluded the likely cause was an impact and shaking over some time.
The impact would have been on a soft surface and it could have occurred 24-hours previously.
Mr Waley said: “The fracture to the ribs and leg were probably caused from two to six weeks before the x-ray.
“The rib injuries were consistent with compression of the chest by fingers. The leg injury could have been caused by gripping, twisting or bending.
“Obviously they would have been painful to the boy and it would be obvious to the person inflicting the injury that the child was in discomfort. The prosecution says the injuries were caused by the defendant, most probably by shaking or impact with a soft surface.”
When interviewed by police, Hewitt denied he could not cope with the children crying. He said in the second case he had cared for the child like his own.
He said the child could have fallen and he would never have hit it. He denied leaving a hand print on its face, saying the marks were too square to be caused by a hand.
He said the other child’s bruises could have been cot injuries. He denied throwing him across a room on to a settee.
Asked to recall other events he told police: “It is two or three years ago. I have smoked a lot of weed since then. It is hard to remember. I don’t even remember my mother’s birthday.”