Devon

Plymouth four-month-old boy 'assaulted by parents'

A boy from Plymouth was assaulted by his own parents when he was less than four months old, a court has heard.

A health visitor saw marks on Ethan Sheldon's legs in October 2010 which "set alarm bells ringing", Plymouth Crown Court heard.

X-rays revealed six healing fractures. He was also found to have 20 bruises.

Christopher Sheldon, 31, and Charlotte Sheldon, 23, deny child cruelty, but Mr Sheldon will claim during the trial his wife was responsible, the court heard.

'No explanation'

The health visitor who had come to weigh Ethan saw "linear" red marks, the court was told.

After he was taken to hospital by his parents on the same day, 5 October 2010, an X-ray revealed healing fractures.

They included breaks in three left ribs, his left collar bone, his right shin and one of his big toes.

The court heard the injuries could not have occurred accidentally,

Jo Martin, prosecuting, said that only the parents had enough access to Ethan in the months after he was born to have caused the injuries.

Either the couple - Christopher Sheldon, of Mount Batten Way, and Charlotte Sheldon, of Sefton Avenue - committed them together, Ms Martin said, or one was covering for the other.

She said: "Neither of them has given an explanation as to how these injuries were caused."

The trial continues.

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