A 10-month-old baby is likely to have died by being shaken and thrown at the wall or floor, with the little girl suffering the types of head injuries ‘normally only seen after a car accident’, an inquest has heard.
The Daily Mail reports, Chloe Murphy died in December 2010, two days after she had been dropped off at the home of babysitter Ketapat Jenkins in Kensington near Melbourne’s CBD.
The babysitter was charged with child homicide but found not guilty by a jury in 2014.
A panel of nine medical experts, testifying in the Coroners Court of Victoria on Monday at an inquest into Chloe’s death, say it’s most probable her injuries were non-accidental and caused by at least three acts, including twisting to her arm, ‘rotational force’ such as shaking and a head impact.
Chloe’s parents were ‘shocked’ when Ms Jenkins was acquitted in March 2014, breaking down in court when the ‘not guilty’ verdict was read at the end of the five week trial.
Chloe was found to be unresponsive and in respiratory distress when her parents returned and rushed to the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne, where it was discovered she had a significant brain injury as well as a fractured skull and arm, and eye haemorrhages.
Surgeons operated on Chloe, but she could not be saved, dying two days later on December 5, 2010.
Dr Maryanne Lobo said a fall could have explained some, if not all, of Chloe’s injuries, but it was unlikely.
‘If it was a complex fall it should have been known by the carer,’ she said.
Some of Chloe’s symptoms would have been noticeable immediately after the trauma that caused her severe injuries, the experts said.
At trial, Ms Jenkins was accused of deliberately assaulting Chloe while the girl’s parents went out.
The defence told the trial there was no evidence the babysitter had attacked the baby, and suggested Chloe’s injuries were most likely sustained in a fall.
Ms Jenkins is due to give evidence to the inquest on Tuesday, and the lead police investigator and the doctor who treated the baby girl are also expected to take the stand.
The hearing will aim to determine the circumstances that led to Chloe’s death.
Coroner Hawkins said it was not her role to apportion blame.
RIP baby girl. We hope justice is served for you.
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