Lucas Irvine death: Man blames mother for baby death

A man accused of murdering a four-month-old baby has said the boy's mother was responsible for his death.

Lucas Irvine died in hospital on 21 November 2010, four days after an incident of "deliberate and violent shaking" at his home in Lancaster.

Christopher Roberts, 19, told Preston Crown Court he had heard a scream that brought "a chill to the spine" after leaving Lucas with Karen Irvine.

Both deny murder, manslaughter and allowing the death of a child.

A post-mortem examination revealed that Lucas died from "non-accidental head and spinal injury" and that his brain was "massively swollen" which was consistent with "deliberate and violent shaking".

Mr Roberts, of Garth Lane, Knighton in Powys, who was in a relationship with Karen Irvine at the time of the baby's death, said he had been in the bathroom when he heard the scream.

Dennis Watson QC, cross-examining, put it to Mr Roberts that both he and Ms Irvine, also 19, had been in the room when Lucas was shaken and they had taken part in a "massive deception" to conceal the truth.

'Grey and floppy'

Mr Roberts said he had not been in the room but that he did accept that someone had shaken Lucas. Asked if he thought it was Ms Irvine, he said "yes".

Earlier in the trial, Ms Irvine, of Gerrard Street in Lancaster, said Mr Roberts had been the one responsible for shaking Lucas.

But Mr Roberts said he had left Ms Irvine alone with Lucas and had only returned to the room when he heard the scream.

He said he had found Lucas on his own, "grey and floppy" in his cot.

The jury was told Mr Roberts did not give that version of events to the emergency services operator, who he told that Lucas had stopped breathing after choking during feeding.

The defendant agreed that was nearly identical to the story his girlfriend gave to the authorities.

Mr Watson said he had "taken part in a massive deception to those who came to try and help Lucas," a claim Mr Roberts denied.

He added that he had not shaken Lucas and had not made an "agreement" over a story about what had happened with Ms Irvine, as Mr Watson had suggested.

The trial continues.

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