London

Matthew Addy denies shaking baby son to death in 2003

A young father killed his "bright and healthy" baby son by shaking him, the Old Bailey has been told.

Scott Addy, who was nearly three months old, was found to have suffered serious brain injuries when he was taken to hospital. He died nine days later.

Matthew Addy was a 22-year-old living in Sutton with his 17-year-old fiancee when she became pregnant.

Now 29, Mr Addy, from Wimbledon, south-west London, denies the manslaughter of his baby son in December 2003.

'Hands-on father'

The court heard that Mr Addy, of Christchurch Road, shook the infant as a result of being daunted by the responsibility of fatherhood.

Just hours before he was taken ill, video footage of the baby had shown him to be "fine and healthy", said Richard Whittam QC, prosecuting.

"He sustained a serious head injury consistent with either a shaking or a shaking impact injury, which caused his death," he told the court.

Mr Addy was working as a greenkeeper at Walton Heath golf club in Surrey.

During the pregnancy, which was unplanned, Mr Addy took two months off with depression, telling his partner Nicole Pullen he was "stressed" about the baby, jurors were told.

But he later seemed "far happier with the situation" and was described as a "hands-on father".

Mr Whittam said Mr Addy was not alleged to have intended to kill Scott or cause him really serious harm, but to have acted in a way in which he would have realised his actions could harm him.

'Daunting prospect'

"It may be that Matthew Addy found himself in difficult circumstances. Nicole Pullen was very young when she had fallen pregnant," he said.

"He was in a job that wasn't particularly well paid.

"He found, as many people do, the prospect of fatherhood to be a daunting one and he was understandably concerned with money, and with the many responsibilities he was going to have to undertake."

Mr Whittam added that Mr Addy's fiancee was also ill at the time, so he had had to take more responsibility for looking after the baby.

The case continues.

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