Police officer tells court doctor revealed Doncaster toddler's injuries appeared "non-accidental" before his death
A police officer has told a court how a doctor told her a seriously-ill toddler, who was allegedly murdered by her mother and her partner, appeared to have suffered non-accidental injuries.
A Sheffield Crown Court trial heard today, October 14, how Detective Sergeant Nicola Marsh, who was a temporary inspector at the time, had attended Doncaster Royal Infirmary on January 8 where Keigan O’Brien had been taken after the couple claimed to have found him lifeless.
Sarah O’Brien, aged 33, of Bosworth Road, Doncaster, and her partner Martin Currie, aged 36, of no fixed abode, have denied murdering Ms O’Brien’s two-year-old son Keigan O’Brien after he died from head injuries on January 9.
Det Sgt Nicola Marsh explained she heard the doctor reiterate an account of the circumstances in the presence of Sarah O’ Brien and Martin Currie.
She said the doctor’s account stated Sarah O’Brien had taken Keigan’s siblings to school on January 8 while Keigan was in bed and Martin Currie was in bed and she returned home about 9am.
Det Sgt Marsh added about 11am Martin had gone to check on Keigan at which point he found him face down on the pillow and he shouted Sarah O’Brien for help and the ambulance was called and he started CPR.
Det Sgt Marsh said: “He was face down on the bed. Face down in the pillow. I remember him saying he lifted his arm but his arm had flopped back down and that was what raised the alarm.
"I think he shouted help first and then started CPR and then the ambulance was called. He shouted for Sarah and she called the ambulance.”
Det Sgt Marsh added Martin Currie had said he could see blood coming from Keigan’s mouth and the doctor said Keigan had been without oxygen for a while and even if he survived his brain would not be active.
The court heard marks were found on Keigan’s body including a scab on his chin, which the couple claimed was old and he had been picking, and there was a small bruise to his chin, reddening and bruising to his right ear and scratches and abrasions to his neck and a brain scan had shown some brain injury.
Det Sgt Marsh said the doctor believed the brain injury was non-accidental.
She said: “He believed the brain injury was non-accidental at that point and raised concerns about the marks on Keigan’s face.”
Adam Birkby, prosecuting, said the doctor stated it was unlikely Keigan would survive and he arranged for him to be taken to Sheffield Chidren’s Hospital.
Kath Goddard, defending Sarah O’Brien, confirmed Det Sgt Marsh’s account was recalled from the doctor’s reiterated account of the circumstances.
Christopher Tehrani, defending Martin Currie, pointed out Det Sgt Marsh’s statement exactly echoed the statement of another police officer to which Det Sgt Marsh agreed she had used her colleague’s notes to refresh her own memory.
Sarah O’Brien and Martin Currie have also denied causing cruelty to a child by ill-treatment or neglect, and both face individual counts of causing or allowing the death of a child which they also deny.
The trial continues.