A THREE-month-old baby found with a fractured skull and bleeding on the brain may have been 'vigorously shaken', doctors believe.

A court was told the fractured skull suffered by the infant may have been the result of his head being hit against a flat surface or struck with a blunt instrument.

The baby also had fractures to five ribs, two vertebrae and a leg.

The child's parents, Scott Colman and Tracy McKenize, are on trial having denied cruelty to the child between his birth in August 2012 and a hospital visit the following December.

Prosecutor Hugh McKee said that the baby boy's twin was also examined and found to have a healing injury caused by someone 'forcefully' gripping his left arm.

Colman, 30, and McKenzie, 40, both of New Lane, Oswaldtwistle, have also pleaded not guilty to cruelty to the second twin, over the same timeframe.

Mr McKee said the allegations emerged after Colman took the first twin to the Royal Blackburn Hospital, as he was unwell, and he was seen by a trainee GP.



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He referred the case to a trainee paediatric specialist, who then called in a consultant to examine the child's injuries.

The court heard that a CT scan carried out on the baby showed a fractured skull, five fractured ribs and a 'healing fracture' at the bottom of his left leg.

"Because of what the doctors found, obviously they asked that the other twin was brought to the hospital and he was examined," said Mr McKee.

"He was found to have a healing injury to his upper left arm which would have been caused by forcefully gripping his arm."

Burnley Crown Court heard doctors at Blackburn asked an experienced consultant radiologist at the Royal Manchester Children's Hospital to review the injuries.

Mr McKee said: "He found that collections of blood in the brain had been caused by vigorous shaking of the baby, forcing the baby's head backwards and forwards.

"And the skull fracture would have been caused by hitting the baby's head against a flat surface or striking it with a blunt instrument. These injuries were less than a few weeks old.

"The rib fractures would have been caused by compressing the baby's chest forcibly from front to back," he told the court.

And the consultant believed the leg break could have been caused when the baby was shaken or by forcibly twisting the baby's ankle while holding him by the shin.

Two vertebrae also had fractures, the court heard, which could have been caused by 'bending' the baby incorrectly or allowing him to fall heavily on his bottom.

Mr McKee said that according to the consultant the injuries would have been caused on three or four occasions.

He said when the skull was fractured, the baby would have clearly been distressed and crying.

Colman and McKenzie were arrested and interviewed and told police that they both looked after the twins.

Colman was unemployed and McKenzie worked part-time.

Both denied causing the injuries to the twins - but could not explain how they came to be hurt.

Mr McKee said that examples were given of when one of the babies may have fallen out of a Moses basket, or 'rolled off a couch'.

But he told a jury that the consultant believed the injuries had been caused deliberately and were 'non-accidental'.

Mr McKee added: "What the crown is not saying is who caused the injuries. It is one or the other, or both of these defendants because they were the only people who looked after the twins from their birth."

He said that the pair were 'guilty of neglect' at the very least. The trial continues.