Bilston baby murder trial told of son's 'devastating' injuries
A six-month-old baby collapsed in the family home with 'devastating injuries' after being forcibly shaken by his father, a murder trial has heard.
Kayden Walker suffered 'irreversible brain damage' when he stopped breathing and went into cardiac arrest while at his Black Country home.
Prosecutors allege 27-year-old Ricky Walker deliberately harmed his son, tragically leaving the baby with brain, eye and spinal injuries.
Opening the case at Birmingham Crown Court, prosecutor Mr David Mason QC said: "It is the Crown’s case that there is sufficient evidence to establish that Kayden died unlawfully at the hands of Ricky Walker.
"And that, at the time of the incident that led to his collapse, sufficient force must have been applied to allow you to conclude safely that he intended at the very least to cause his little boy really serious harm.
"The evidence in this case will show that just before Kayden’s collapse and a call to the emergency services, he was almost certainly the victim of an episode of forceful shaking, involving an impact to his head."
Walker denies murdering his son, instead claiming a hoody covering the baby caused him to stop breathing at their home in Walnut Close, on the border of Darlaston and Bilston.
A jury of six men and six women heard how emergency services rushed to the flat after Walker raised the alarm just before 2pm on June 12, 2016.
But just an hour later, medics at Wolverhampton's New Cross Hospital pronounced Kayden as dead.
Mr Mason said: "He must have shaken, we say, Kayden shortly before his collapse.
"And as part of the shaking, probably but not definitely after the shaking, Kayden also suffered a non accidental impact to the head.
"The combination of the shaking and the impact have caused him to go into cardiac arrest, leading to his devastating brain, eye and spinal injuries, from which he simply could not survive."
Walker told police he had been 'prop feeding' his son, leaving the baby lying in a bouncer with a hoody keeping the milk bottle in position.
He took the bottle from his mouth when Kayden fell asleep and left the hoody covering the baby.
The defendant claimed he went to wash up for 20 minutes and was rolling a cigarette when he spotted the unresponsive baby, shaking him 'in an attempt to rouse him'.
Mr Mason added: "Those that knew the family never had any particular worries about the way that they lived or looked after their children.
"They received plenty of money by way of different benefits and had the means to look after the children properly and safely."
Brain damage, as well as bleeding to the brain and eyes, caused medics to suspect Kayden was forcibly shaken before his death.
Kayden suffered 'similar' trauma to his head several weeks before he died and there was a bruise on his back caused by 'forceful clasping of hands' around his chest, the prosecutor said.
Co-defendant Laura Davies, 25, of Walnut Close, Moxley, was out of the family home when her son collapsed.
Mr Mason added: "She should have been aware that there was a risk to Kayden and failed to take reasonable steps to protect him."
Walker had previously joked about how long it would take his son to suffocate with a hoody covering his face, the court was told on Friday.
Jurors were also told that a second cousin of Davies had been 'surprised' at the defendants' behaviour after they were released on bail shortly after the death.
Mr Mason said: "He was surprised that the two of them were apparently bragging about their time in the cells. He had been expecting them to be upset over what had happened."
Davies is said to have told her cousin that she had not mentioned the previous incident involving a hoody to the police because Walker would probably not have been bailed by officers.
Both defendants had small levels of cannabis in their blood after their arrest and had been using cannabis within the flat.
They deny causing or allowing the death of a child and cruelty to a child between December 16, 2015, and June 12, 2016.
Walker, of Kendrick Road, Moxley, also denies murder.
The trial continues.