Mother and boyfriend deny killing baby who had suffered 40 injuries

Collette Harris

A baby suffered 40 injuries when he was kicked, punched and shaken to death by his mother and her boyfriend, the Old Bailey heard today.

Bobby Louch was 21 months old when he suffered brain damage and bleeding within the skull, the jury was told. He also had a burn on his right hand, a damaged pancreas and a deep tear to his liver.

He was already dead when he arrived at hospital where his mother Collette Harris told his father Dan Louch: “I didn’t do it.”

Three weeks before his death he had been taken to hospital with bruising and a broken leg but after treatment he was returned home to Bexleyheath with Harris and her boyfriend James Phillips.

Harris told doctors that Bobby had broken his leg in a fall and the bruising to his face had been caused by head-butting his cot. Twenty days later Bobby was dead, said Richard Whittam, QC, prosecuting, adding: “There is compelling evidence that the multiple injuries suffered by Bobby were the result of deliberate and repeated violence.”

“From October 2008 onwards Phillips appears to have spent a good deal of time at her home and from time to time caring for Bobby on his own,” said Mr Whittam.

On the day he died, four days after Christmas 2008, a neighbour could hear the sound of a baby’s whimpers through the wall at 2.30am. At 9.20am, Harris called for an ambulance, having rung Mr Louch in a frantic state to tell him Bobby had stopped breathing.

Harris, 30, and Phillips, 25, plead not guilty to Bobby’s murder and also deny an alternative charge of causing or allowing the death of a child.

The case continues.

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