An expert in child brain injuries has told a jury a baby had “most likely” been violently shaken before being taken to hospital in a “floppy and unresponsive” state.
Babysitter Syeda Sokina Begum is on trial at the High Court in Aberdeen accused of “repeatedly” shaking an infant to the “danger of her life” while looking after her.
The 29-year-old, of the city’s Headland Court, denies harming the child on New Year’s Day in 2017.
The trial, before Lord Uist, began last week and the jury of eight women and seven men have heard the child was treated for bleeding from the brain and eyes.
Expert witness Dr Peter Richards, a consultant paediatric neurosurgeon, yesterday gave evidence via a videolink from Oxford, and said the youngster exhibited the symptoms of “shaken baby syndrome”.
Dr Richards added: “One forceful shake can cause such injuries, however, and the evidence shows the baby did not suffer repeated abuse. It was more likely to be a momentary loss of control on the part of a carer who had not planned to injure her.
“The likeliest option is that an event did occur, somebody would know about it and they have chosen not to report it.”
Keep up to date with the latest news with The Evening Express newsletter
The court heard the baby involved suffered seizures during a 13-day stay in hospital but her condition has since improved.
However, Dr Richards said any possible lasting effects may not present themselves until the child begins attending primary school and her academic ability is measured.
Defence agent Frances Connor suggested the baby’s collapse was a delayed reaction to an incident earlier in the day, before Begum took over her care.
Dr Richards said the reports he had studied indicated the baby had been well before suddenly falling ill.
He said he “had not come across a case” where an infant who suffered a delayed collapse had appeared healthy in the hours before.
The trial is expected to conclude this week.