A BABY was murdered in a “happy slapping” attack by his mother’s boyfriend, a court heard.

Detectives seized video clips from Darren Newton’s mobile phone showing him abusing 15-month-old Charlie Hunt at his Pendle home, Manchester Crown Court was told.

Prosecutor Dennis Watson QC told a jury that it appeared Newton had a “dark and wicked” side which only emerged when he was left alone with Charlie.

Last November, 32-year-old Newton was looking after the little boy when he started convulsing.

He was rushed to Airedale Hospital, near Skipton, but within two hours of first collapsing he was pronounced dead.

Medical experts found a number of suspicious injuries on Charlie and alerted police.

Mr Watson said Charlie was born on August 7 2008 and his mother, Laura Chapman, and father, Richard Hunt, split up later that year.

Ms Chapman then formed a relationship with Newton who lived next door to her in Earby.

The court heard that he appeared to be a “quiet caring and loving man”.

Mr Watson added: “But the sad truth is that these outward appearances hid a dark and wicked side of the defendant which only surfaced when he was alone with Charlie.”

The court heard that when Charlie was taken to hospital he had bruises on his right eyelid, right cheek and right big toe.

Video clips seized by police showed Newton assaulting Charlie between June and November 2009.

Mr Watson had earlier told the jury that just after Charlie’s first birthday he was taken to his GP suffering from a virus.

Later he was seen by a doctor because he was vomiting and it was noted that the baby appeared to be bruised.

That same month he had two fits at home within 48 hours of each other and was hospitalised.

On November 19 last year, Newton was alone with Charlie when at around 4.30pm he went next door and told his parents Ernest and Joan that the baby was either not breathing or having a fit.

He was pronounced dead at Airedale Hospital at around 5.45pm.

Newton, of Warwick Drive, Earby, denies murder and two charges of child cruelty. He has admitted 12 other child cruelty offences.