Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Doctor saw pregnant stomach 'boot marks'

Pregnant mother
Image caption James Paterson is accused of a string off assaults against three pregnant women

A doctor has told how a pregnant woman was admitted to hospital with possible boot marks on her stomach.

Dr Kranti Hiremath was giving evidence at the trial of James Paterson, 23, who denies trying to murder three pregnant women.

It is also claimed he raped two of the women and attacked two newborn babies at addresses in Fife and Edinburgh.

The doctor said medical documents noted the patient had claimed a man "jumped" on her abdomen while she was in bed.

She told the High Court in Aberdeen she was asked to investigate the medical history of three women after "possible boot marks" were found by doctors on the mother-to-be's stomach.

She said: "They are showing just under the rib cage on the front and left side."

'Strangled her'

Dr Hiremath said during her investigation she found another woman had complained of being in pain after she was hit in the stomach with a baseball bat two weeks after giving birth.

She said the notes revealed the woman was in "obvious pain" eight months after the alleged attack.

The trial also heard from Mr Paterson's mother, Maxine, 45, who said she saw her son "fly at" one of the alleged victims and pull the hair of another and drag her to a car during a day at the park after the woman spat at him.

The former hygiene assistant also said Mr Paterson's third alleged victim had confided in her of serious assaults at the hands of her son, claiming he kicked and "strangled her".

Later the trial heard how a baby allegedly attacked by Mr Paterson had a string of "non accidental" and life-threatening injuries, including two broken ribs.

Dr Alastair Wilkinson, a radiologist at the Royal Hospital of Sick Children in Edinburgh, told the court he had compiled a report based on skull and rib fractures suffered by the four-month old.

He said: "The most likely if not the only cause of this is inflicted injury. A possible mechanism would be an adult squeezing the baby's chest with all his or her's might. Other mechanisms include stamping on the baby's chest."

Drop claim

Mr Paterson is accused of severely injuring and endangering the life of the baby by repeatedly grabbing him by the body and throwing him against a headboard, preventing his mother from tending to him, dropping the baby on the floor, binding him tightly in a blanket and rolling him into a cot, causing him to bang his head and body on the bars.

The alleged violence was said to have started the day the infant was born.

The trial previously heard Mr Paterson had admitted to police that he had dropped the baby onto a carpeted chair on two occasions and dropped him onto a bathroom floor from a "bouncy chair" while picking it up.

But Dr Wilkinson said it was very unlikely the injuries were caused by the baby falling or being dropped.

Mr Paterson, from Fife, denies trying to murder three women, who were all pregnant at various times, endangering their lives and leaving them severely injured and permanently disfigured.

Mr Paterson faces 11 charges which date between January 2006 and July last year.

The trial, before Lord Matthews, continues.

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