The multiple injuries of a tragic young baby who suffered brain damage and 28 fractures were compared to those of a car crash victim, a court heard.
In making the comparison a consultant told mother-of-nine Katherine Cox: “That’s how serious they were.”
Katherine Jenkins, a staff nurse at London’s King’s College Hospital, said doctors asked 33-year-old Cox what had happened to five-month-old Eli.
Danny Shepherd and Katherine Cox. Picture: Andy Payton.
She said she had been downstairs at their home in Lapwing Close in Minster when her partner Danny Shepherd put Eli to bed.
“She heard a scream,” Miss Jenkins told a jury at Maidstone Crown Court.
“She didn’t say who. She said she went upstairs and they were on the phone to the ambulance.
“When they were on the phone to the ambulance they had been told to hang Eli upside down and shake him.”
Cox asked: “Could this have caused his injuries?” A consultant gave a fairly neutral answer and said “Possibly.”
Cox had also declared that she wished she had never left the child alone and asked: “Who could do something like this?”
She and Shepherd, 25, now both living in Faversham, deny causing or allowing the death of a child between April 12 and 28 and causing or allowing physical harm to a child.
Katherine Cox and Danny Shepherd have been charged with two counts of causing or allowing the death of a child, and one count of possession of a class B drug
They also deny possessing the Class B drug amphetamine.
The prosecution allege they were both responsible for the death of Eli from a “catastrophic” brain injury.
He was found to have 28 fractures to bones in his body and he had also been exposed to drugs.
Prosecutor Jennifer Knight said Eli suffered extensive brain damage consistent with shaking and caused by a prolonged period of insufficient oxygen to the brain.
He had multiple fractures to bones of varying ages.
Miss Knight said it suggested the injuries were inflicted on many different occasions leading up to the child’s death.
His final collapse came on April 13 and he died two weeks later.
Miss Jenkins said Cox seemed very upset and “quite hysterical” when she arrived at the hospital.
When not at the unit she would call for an update on Eli’s condition.
“I told her we had turned down Eli’s ventilation a bit and she seemed quite pleased,” said Miss Jenkins.
While there, Cox was encouraged to change his nappy and sit close to him. She later took in some balloons and nappies.
There was a team meeting among doctors about Eli’s prognosis and how he should be managed. The advice was going to be that there should be a “do not resuscitate” notice.
As well as claiming they were told to hang the child upside down and shake him while on the phone for an ambulance, Cox said another child had thrown a toy at his head.
“She seemed to be crying a lot but no actual tears,” Miss Jenkins said of Cox.
“She gave Eli a kiss and sat and held his hand. She said: ‘Who could do something like this?’”
“She seemed to be crying a lot but no actual tears" - Katherine Jenkins
Cox said Eli had been with some friends, but added they would hurt him.
Questioned by her QC Oliver Saxby, Miss Jenkins agreed there was a mass of tubes and a monitor connected to various parts of the baby’s body.
Cox had told a doctor he was fine one minute and blue the next. She was advised he had extensive brain damage to the front and back.
It was also explained that he would be “significantly developmently impaired”, not being able to walk and talk and be like a cerebral palsy child.
Cox wept in the dock as Miss Jenkins recounted how doctors said if Eli could not breath independently without tubes, they would not be put back.
Miss Jenkins added that things were explained to Cox simply and slowly.
The trial continues.