Monday 14 October 2019

Man denies murder of baby Ross

THE TRIAL of a man accused of murdering his ex-fiancée's baby at their Gorey home continued this week after the prosecution outlined that injuries alleged that the infant died of shaken baby syndrome.

Philip Doyle (34) of Tinakilly, Aughrim, Co. Wicklow has pleaded not guilty at the Central Criminal Court to murdering three-and-a-halfmonthRoss Murphy at 3 Creagh Demesne, Gorey, Co. Wexford on April 5, 2005.

Evidence has been given by Leona Murphy, mother of Ross that she returned home to find her baby lying lifeless on a coffee table after leaving her ex-fiancé minding him.

'Ross was lying on the table and he wasn't moving', she said

He was rushed to Wexford General Hospital by ambulance crew and was suffering a cardiac arrest. The baby died two days later in Our Lady's Children's Hospital Crumlin where he had been transferred the day before.

As the trial opened last Wednesday the jury was told that the cause of death of the three-and-a-half-monthold Ross Murphy was head trauma but that the prosecution cannot prove the mechanism by which it was caused.

Mr Tom O'connell SC prosecuting said it was the State's case that the trauma that directly caused death was inflicted two days before the infant died at Our Lady's Hospital for Sick Children in Crumlin on April 5, 2005.

Mr O' Connell said State Pathologist Dr Marie Cassidy, who conducted a post mortem on April 6, 2005 concluded that Ross Murphy died following head trauma and would not have recovered.

The pathologist found other injuries to the body and that such damage was 'not expected to occur in a not yet mobile child.'

The baby's mother Leona Murphy was seven-and-a-half months pregnant when she started going out with Mr Doyle and after the baby was born the pair took up living together at Creagh Demense in mid-january 2005.

Mr Doyle asked Ms Murphy to be named as the father on the baby's birth certificate but she refused to do so, the court was told.

Mr O'connell said Ross Murphy was 'a normal, healthy child,' and that a number of witnesses would give evidence in relation to that.

The prosecution says Mr Doyle gave different accounts about what happened to the baby, lied to medics about what happened before he became ill and that the accused did not say he was in the house on his own with the infant.

The court was told Mr Doyle changed his story saying what occurred was accidental. He told gardai that he picked up the child and tripped on a mat and tried to turn sideways as he fell to save the baby.

Originally Mr Doyle denied he was alone with the child but in a sixth garda interview he gave a new version of events when presented with mobile phone evidence of Ms Murphy being out of the house at the time.

On Thursday evening she said Mr Doyle brought baby Ross up to bed at around 8.30pm to 9pm, when he started to get sick and appeared to have a rash.

When Mr Doyle called her to come up after one or two minutes the infant was lifeless and his eyes were open and Mr Doyle revived the infant with cold water.

They brought Ross to a doctor and then to Wexford General Hospital where he remained until April 3, 2005. After the baby returned home that Sunday evening, she went out to get a DVD and left the baby alone in the house with Mr Doyle.

She said she arrived home and found her baby lying on the coffee table with no clothes on him and Mr Doyle was giving him mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.

He was rushed to Wexford General Hospital with a cardiac arrest and died two days later in Crumlin where he had been transferred.

Ms Murphy originally lied to gardai about Mr Doyle being on his own in the hospital because she didn't want her mother to know as she did not like Mr Doyle.

Paediatrician Dr Bilal Ahmed Sethi treated Ross on March 31, 2005.

He noted a rash on both sides of the child's neck and lesions on the left shoulder and noted a haemorrhage on the left eye.

The rash disappeared; the baby had no temperature and was allowed to return home. He said the baby returned to the hospital in cardiac arrest and he was called at 6.45pm to resuscitate him. Dr Sethi said the child had a lesion on the right side of his forehead, which he had not seen when he was discharged earlier that day. He noted

new bruising including one on the right abdomen which he said were not caused by cardiac massage. The child was stabilised and ventilated.

He agreed that rashes on the child could be explained by innocent causes and further agreed they could be a sign of a life-threatening disorder.

The trial continues.