Dorset

Broadmayne toddler murder accused 'kicked and punched boy'

Harry House Image copyright Dorset Police
Image caption Paramedics tried to save Harry but he died in hospital in Dorchester

A man on trial for the murder of his partner's two-year-old boy kicked and punched the toddler while his mother was at the shops, a court has heard.

Joseph Eke, 22, is accused of attacking Harry House at the family home in Broadmayne, Dorset, on 26 May 2016.

He is also accused of causing a wound that scarred the little boy's face two months earlier and fracturing his ribs two weeks before his death.

Mr Eke denies murder, wounding, actual bodily harm and grievous bodily harm.

Winchester Crown Court heard Harry's mother, Lauren O'Neill, had nipped to a shop at 09:27 BST to get washing powder from a store about 100m from her home.

Image caption Emergency services were called to the house in Main Street, Broadmayne, on 26 May last year

Prosecutor Adam Feest QC said, when she came back, she asked Mr Eke to check whether Harry had tidied his room.

When Mr Eke returned, he told Ms O'Neill that Harry looked like he was going to be sick, before turning "very white", his lips started turning blue and he became "very droopy", the court heard.

Mr Feest said paramedics tried to save Harry but he died in hospital in Dorchester at 11:00 BST.

A post-mortem examination showed he had a "potentially fatal" fractured skull.

Jurors heard Harry died as a result of a blunt-force impact to the abdomen that split his pancreas in two.

The court was told, Mr Eke, of St Lawrence Road, Upwey, Weymouth, had helped with Harry's childcare but feared his ability to cope because he had been beaten as a child.

He allegedly told Ms O'Neill Harry cut his face falling on a plate while she was in the store on another occasion on Easter Sunday.

The court heard the toddler told his great-grandmother that Mr Eke had pushed him that day creating a slit from his lips to his ear.

The trial continues.

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