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Baby Kayden Walker death 'was not an accident' says doctor

By Marion Brennan | Bilston | Crime | Published:

A claim that the death of a six-month-old baby, allegedly at the hands of his father, could have been accidental has been described as 'implausible' by a medical expert.

Ricky Walker and Laura Davies

Kayden Walker suffered irreversible brain damage when he stopped breathing and went into cardiac arrest while under the supervision of his father, 27-year-old Ricky Walker.

Prosecutors allege he deliberately harmed his son, leaving the infant with fatal brain, eye and spinal injuries.

It has been suggested by Walker's defence team that the injuries may have been inflicted when another toddler fell on top of Kayden while he was in his baby bouncer at home in Moxley, on the Bilston-Darlaston border.

But Dr Daniel Du Plessis said this explanation was 'not plausible' as the injuries could only have been caused by 'excessive jolting backwards and forwards'.

He argued that 'just pressing down' on the youngster could not have resulted in a subdural bleed and that it would have been impossible for Kayden to have self-injured.

The leading neuropathologist also said the type of injuries the baby suffered helped to pinpoint when they were inflicted.

He told Birmingham Crown Court that children who sustained the kind of trauma Kayden did typically collapsed straight away before falling into a coma, with cardiac arrest following 'within seconds to minutes'.

In some children, he conceded, there was a lapse in time between the injury and the catastrophic reaction.

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"But these children are very ill in the interim, maybe conscious but very ill. They are obviously unwell and won't feed, might fit, will be floppy and change colour, with episodes of non-breathing," he said.

"These symptoms are rapidly progressive until the child collapses and their heart stops beating. This phase can take several hours but during that interval the child is obviously unwell."

He said that, relying on witness accounts, including from both parents, there was nothing wrong with Kayden when his mother Laura Davies left the council flat in Walnut Close at noon on June 12, 2016.

"So whatever happened must have happened after she left," said Dr Du Plessis. "The baby was showered and changed after that, so it would have been obvious, Kayden would have been floppy.

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"There seems to have been no concern until he was found. So it would indicate the head injury hadn't occurred until that point."

Kayden was pronounced dead at Wolverhampton's New Cross Hospital where he had been taken after Walker raised the alarm, claiming he had found his son unresponsive in his baby chair.

Brain damage, as well as bleeding to the brain and eyes, led medics to suspect the child was forcibly shaken before his death.

Earlier the jury heard he had suffered a similar trauma to his head several weeks before he died and there was a bruise on his back caused by 'forceful clasping of hands' around his chest.

Walker, of Kendrick Road, Moxley, and Davies, of Walnut Close, deny causing or allowing the death of a child and cruelty to a child. Walker also denies murder. The trial continues.

Marion Brennan

By Marion Brennan
@Marion_EStar

News and features reporter, specialising in human interest and local history stories.

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