London

Baby suffered serious assaults before being 'shaken to death'

Old Bailey Image copyright Getty Images

A baby was violently shaken to death after suffering a series of serious assaults which left him with 47 broken bones, a court has heard.

Mohammed Miah, 37, and Rebeka Nazmin, 31, of Poplar, east London, allegedly inflicted injuries on their son Rifat that left him with 38 rib fractures, eight leg fractures and a broken spine.

The Old Bailey heard they subjected Rifat to "systematic abuse" over the 13 weeks he was alive.

Both parents deny murder.

Opening the trial, prosecutor Ed Brown QC said Rifat was found to have suffered "a terrible number of significant fractures" which happened over several weeks.

'Extensive burns'

The immediate cause of death was internal head and brain injuries consistent with Rifat being "violently shaken or when his head was hit against an object of some kind on the third or fourth of July last year", said Mr Brown.

Mr Brown said there was a body of evidence relating to how the baby had been treated by his parents.

The baby was allegedly hit with the cord of a mobile phone charger and burned on a radiator, the Old Bailey heard.

Rifat's mother, Ms Nazmin, allegedly told the police that her husband had a problem with their child's deformed hand and had abused him because of it.

Both parents also allegedly blamed another child for Rifat's injuries.

Ms Nazmin allegedly encouraged the child to "shake" the baby to create an alternate explanation for his injuries after finding Rifat dead, jurors were told.

The child was also blamed for turning up a radiator that burned the baby's leg.

But their accounts were contradicted by a child witness who told police they asked what they should do when the baby was found lifeless and were allegedly told by Ms Nazmin to "shake" the baby, which they did. They also sprinkled water on his face to rouse him.

The child also reported seeing Mr Miah smiling as he hit the baby with a mobile phone charger cable.

Chest squeezed

Ms Nazmin called the emergency services on the morning of 4 July. When paramedics arrived they found the baby "lifeless" on the floor of his mother's bedroom.

Rifat was taken to Great Ormond Street Hospital where doctors noticed "extensive burns" to his leg and bruises on his ears, shoulder and back.

A CT scan later revealed bleeding on the brain. The next day the decision was taken to stop his life support.

Mr Brown said the pathologist would say that given Rifat's age, his rib fractures would be have been inflicted by having his chest squeezed while his fractured legs would have been caused by someone twisting or pulling his limbs.

The burns on the leg were "consistent with contact with a radiator", he said.

Both parents have been charged with causing or allowing Rifat to suffer serious physical harm between 31 March and 6 July 2016.

Mr Miah is also accused of cruelty towards two other children, who cannot be identified, on 4 July 2016.

The trial continues.

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