A Northern Territory coroner believes a five-month-old boy who died with severe bruising and anal injuries may have been the victim of a crime.

Baby, Michael Smedley, died from “traumatic head injury” in Alice Springs in 2012 while in the care of his 16-year-old mother, Tayla Smedley’s, friends, NT Coroner Greg Cavanagh reported in his findings, shared 7 news.

Michael had been staying with friend Tamara Cole and her boyfriend Oliver Deighton, who was alone with him in the hours leading up to the boy becoming unconscious on July 26.

Ms Cole returned to collect Michael and take him to day care at around 11am, at which time Mr Deighton went to get Michael and discovered him limp and not breathing.

Ms Cole and paramedics performed CPR on the child but he was pronounced dead that afternoon.

While in hospital doctors were suspicious about the “sinister” bruising on Michael’s body and one paediatrician said Michael had been “shaken vigorously”.

He also had damage to his anus and semen detected there, along with blood on his nappy.

Mr Deighton changed his initial statement claiming he caught Michael after he wriggled off a change table and was unaware of how the baby sustained 26 bruises.

“He stated he thought the bruising would have taken 18 hours to develop and so might have been inflicted the day before,” Judge Cavanagh said.

But medical experts agreed that even if Michael had fallen onto a hard floor surface, he would not have sustained the injuries that led to his death.

ABC news reports, in her witness statement, Ms Cole said a day after Michael died she said to Mr Deighton: “Just tell me what happened and I’ll protect you.”

It was then that he told her Michael sustained the horrific injuries after falling off a baby change table, but Mr Deighton said he caught the baby just in time.

Believing a crime may have been committed, the coroner has reported the case back to the NT Commissioner of Police and Director of Public Prosecutions.

NT Police confirmed an investigation has recommenced but no charges have been laid.

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  • The guy should at the very least have been charged with rape.
    Also child neglect or whatever it is called now. He should have been taken to hospital straight away if he fell.


  • A very sad story,no one deserves to die like this.


  • This poor little mite was not only shaken but it sounds like he was raped as well. Put the person in jail and let everyone know what he did to this poor baby. RIP little one


  • This is so so sad I really hope these people get the punishment they deserve.I cannot believe someone would hurt such a beautiful child


  • This is just so horrible and sad.


  • Reading the details of this crime almost made me physically sick. What depravation exists in a person to be able to inflict such pain and injury on any other human being, let alone a defenceless baby. I just can’t comprehend. Nothing can make me understand this.


  • It sounds like enough evidence with presence of semen around anus to charge for child rape. I hope justice is served for poor baby Michael. This story makes me feel ill


  • Oh no, poor baby !! This is just horrific !
    Absolutely must be possible to catch the rapist when blood and semen are found on his anus. Disgusting, so evil !


  • With damage to his anus and semen present it shouldn’t take long to prove the baby had been raped and by whom. No five month child would have been consenting. This is horrific and should be dealt with immediately before the perpetrator can inflict his awful ways on to anyone else.


  • How has no one been charged yet ?!!! I don’t understand !! Omg this makes me sick !


  • A baby does not have damage to his anus and semen in his nappy from falling off a change table.
    I dont understand why this is still being investigated 5 years down the track. DNA testing can say who the semen belongs to for goodness sake.


  • lock them up and throw away the key then let the other inmates know what their crimes are


  • There’s was damage to his anus, blood and seven in his nappy. Surely this is obvious rape! Of a tiny baby poor poor little man. And the women want to protect the animal responsible. Lock them all up and throw away the key, let prison justice deal with them


  • How is the person not charged when there was damage and semen present. This is horrible.


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