The injuries sustained by a Victorian baby allegedly murdered by his father were caused by ‘unmistakable violence’, a court has been told.
Three-month-old Braxton died nine days after he was airlifted to hospital in an unresponsive state on October 15, 2011.
Scott Hammond faced the first day of his pre-trial committal hearing on Monday, charged with murder and child homicide.
It is alleged he fatally injured his son by shaking him.
Scott Hammond (pictured) is accused of murdering his eight-month-old son Braxton
Dr Amanda Gwee from the Royal Children’s Hospital said some of the infant’s injuries were most likely caused by abusive head trauma from ‘unmistakable violence’.
The child also had fractures to his ribs and femur, bruising, and a twisted leg.
His mother Nakita Cook said she had never seen Hammond hurt the boy but believed he may have ‘done something’ to him.
She said she once heard Braxton let out a big scream ‘like nothing I’d ever heard before’ while he was with the accused.
Ms Cook said the boy sometimes turned white and floppy for apparently no reason, and she had sought medical care to work out what was wrong.
Hammond faced the first day of his pre-trial committal hearing on Monday, where he was accused of shaking Braxton to death
The last time she saw Braxton was when she put him down in his bassinet to sleep after his feed.
Under defence questioning, Dr Gwee agreed Braxton’s injuries could have been accidental, but the amount of force used was ‘something we don’t see in the day to day handling of babies’.
‘With injuries of this nature, I would expect a clear accident history if there was another cause, such as a fall,’ she told the court.
During cross examination by the defence, Ms Cook admitted she may have used the drug speed one or twice, including with the accused, between the time the boy was born and before Braxton’s death.
Braxton’s mother Nakita Cook recalled to the court a time where she heard her son scream ‘like nothing she’d ever heard’ while the infant was with Hammond
But she said authorities had ‘not for one moment’ ever blamed her for his death.
Local GP Raymond Sarkis said he saw Braxton the day before he was hospitalised and didn’t see any injuries.
He was concerned Braxton was suffering atypical seizures because his mum described him as being pale and floppy.
The boy was also having constipation and feeding problems and the GP was worried the young mum was not coping.
The committal hearing will resume on Tuesday.
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