Man claims ex killed her baby

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A TEENAGER accused of murdering a four-month-old baby told a jury that the child’s mother must have shaken him to death.

Christopher Roberts, 19, said he was in the bathroom when he heard a scream that brought “a chill to the spine” and then found the baby collapsed in his cot, Preston Crown Court heard on Tuesday.

His then girlfriend, Karen Irvine, 19, is also on trial. She has told the jury that she was the one out of the room when the grave injuries were inflicted and that Roberts must have been responsible.

Lucas Irvine was rushed to hospital with a bleed to the brain from their home in Lancaster on November 17, 2010 and died four days later.

A post-mortem examination revealed Lucas died from “non-accidental head and spinal injury” and that his brain was “massively swollen”, which was consistent with “deliberate and violent shaking”.

Dennis Watson QC, cross-examining, put it to Roberts that both of them were in the room when he was shaken and they had taken part in a “massive deception” to conceal the truth.

Mr Watson asked him: “You accept that someone shook Lucas?”

“Yes,” the defendant replied.

“There were only two of you in the house and you did not do it?” the barrister continued.

Roberts said: “No.”

“So it must be Karen?” asked Mr Watson.

“Yes,” Roberts replied.

Roberts agreed it was his case that he had left Irvine alone with Lucas while he went to the bathroom and then heard the baby scream. He then returned to the bedroom and found Lucas on his own, “grey and floppy” in his cot.

The jury was told Roberts did not give that version of events to the emergency services. He told an operator that Lucas had stopped breathing after choking during feeding.

The defendant agreed that was nearly identical to the story his girlfriend gave to the authorities.

“You have taken part in a massive deception to those who came to try and help Lucas,” suggested Mr Watson.

“No,” said Roberts.

Mr Watson said to him: “The two of you were in the room and Lucas began to cry, to whinge, and the two of you wanted him to be quiet. You wanted him to shut up. Did you shake him?”

“I did not,” said Roberts.

“You saw this happen didn’t you and as soon as it happened there was this panic and this agreement came out of it to tell a story,” said Mr Watson.

“No,” said the defendant.

Irvine, of Gerrard Street, Lancaster, and Roberts, of Garth Lane, Knighton, Powys, both deny murder, manslaughter or causing or allowing the death of a child.

The trial continues.