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Mum 'Showed No Emotion As Baby Boy Fought To Survive Because She Was Used To Watching Holby City'

Mum 'Showed No Emotion As Baby Boy Fought To Survive Because She Was Used To Watching Holby City'

A mum showed no emotion while her baby was fighting for life as she was used to watching Holby City, a court heard.

Parents Elizabeth Wilkins and Erick Vanselow have gone on trial accused of cruelty after their son suffered critical injuries in an 'incident at home', the jury was told.

One nurse told the trial the calmness of the mother was "not normal".

She said the mum told her that she could watch as medical staff drilled into the bone of the boy - because she was used to watching Holby and 24 Hours in A&E.

Hospital staff found that the boy had suffered a fractured skull, bleeding on the brain and broken ribs.

He spent several months in hospital and, now just over two-years-old, may have developmental problems, the court was told.

The couple - who were both students at university and deny the charges - were accused in court of showing a 'unusual' lack of emotion as the boy battled for survival.

And a senior doctor has told a court she was concerned about the delay in taking the three-month-old to a GP more than ten hours after he suffered a serious head injury, the Plymouth Herald reports.

Plymouth Crown Court heard how Vanselow told a consultant paediatrician he had accidentally dropped the infant on to a plastic kitchen counter early that morning.

But the Crown Prosecution Service, opening the case, said that neither the head injuries, nor the rib fractures could have been caused accidentally.

Jo Martin, QC, said that the baby was assaulted by either mum, dad or both parents on several occasions two years ago at the former couple's home in Plymouth, Devon.

Vanselow, now 30, was then studying for a masters in International Relations at the University of Plymouth.

Wilkins, 23, was also about to start the final year of a law degree at the university.

They have both been named after a judge lifted a court order.

The court has heard the boy was taken to Derriford Hospital in Plymouth, 17 days before his admission, with bloodshot eyes.

An expert has already told the court those injuries were mostly likely caused by the chest being crushed.

Sister Sophie Brock, nurse in charge of the section of the A&E department which admitted the boy, said Wilkins was "very calm" when the ambulance arrived at about 4.30pm.

She added that staff struggled to find a vein to insert an intravenous drip into the child and so had to drill into the bone marrow.

Mrs Brock described the procedure as "distressing to watch".

She added that it was not fair for a parent to stay and so Wilkins was asked to step outside.

Mrs Brock said: "Her reply was that she watched Holby and 24 Hours in A&E, which was a little bit of a strange thing to say."

Piers Norsworthy, for Wilkins, asked the witness: "When you are presented with a very sick baby, one imagines the worst thing you could see is a panicky, distracting mother?"

Mrs Brock replied: "It does not help but it is normal and we are able to deal with that."

Derriford consultant paediatrician Thynn Aung said that she spoke to the parents together to get a history of what had happened that day.

She said that Vanselow told her he had dropped the baby so the infant had hit the left side of his head against a plastic kitchen counter during a feed at 4am that morning.

An ambulance paramedic had earlier told the court that the father had said he dropped the boy about a foot.

The court has also heard that Vanselow called a GP just after 2pm to say he was worried about meningitis - but did not immediately mention the accident.

The jury has heard conflicting evidence about when Wilkins heard about the incident.

Dr Aung said that there were inconsistencies in Vanselow's story, including mention of the baby hitting the left side of the head - when his major injuries were on the right side.

She added that she was concerned about what she called the "inappropriate delay" in the parents seeking medical help.

Dr Aung added: "I was concerned about the lack of obvious emotional response by the parents during the interview."

The boy cannot be named nor any photograph used by court order.

Vanselow and Wilkins have each denied individual counts of assaulting the baby with intent to cause grievous bodily harm on September 22, 2016.

They have also pleaded not guilty to alternative counts of assaulting him causing grievous bodily harm without intent. These charges relate to the head injuries.

The parents have also denied causing or allowing a child to suffer serious physical harm to a child between his birth on July 2 and September 23 that year.

Wilkins alone has pleaded not guilty to assaulting the baby causing actual bodily harm between August 31 and September 3. This charge relates to the bloodshot eyes.

Prosecutors say that those injuries could not have been caused by the dad because he was out of town at the time.

The trial, due to last at least another two weeks, continues.


Shocking. Read the original article HERE



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