Man killed girlfriend's baby in "vicious attack", court hears
A man killed his new girlfriend's 17-month-old baby in a "deliberate and vicious" attack, a jury has heard
Cardiff Crown Court heard that Finley John Thomas was found motionless and looking "ghostly" in colour by paramedics at his home in Tonypandy, south Wales, before being rushed to hospital.
Doctors discovered the toddler had a severe bleed to the brain and also had an older injury to his right ear.
Sean Buckley, 28, has pleaded not guilty to one count of murder.
He has also denied one count of causing child cruelty - a charge also denied by Finley's mother Chloe Thomas, 25.
Prosecuting counsel Roger Thomas QC has told the jury that both Buckley and Thomas told emergency crews that the child had fallen down the stairs.
But in his opening of the case, Mr Thomas said the injuries Finley suffered were no accident.
He said: "The catastrophic injuries sustained by Finley were a result of a deliberate and vicious act by Sean Buckley.
"And to avoid the consequences of his own violent conduct, he has persisted in the deceitful manufactured account and has been assisted by the lies and support of Chloe Thomas."
Jurors were told that Finley was born in April 2013 and around a year later his mother got together with Buckley.
Mr Thomas said on September 23 2014 Thomas made a 999 call and told the operator that her son had "banged his head" at her home in Adams Street, Tonypandy, and was "lying floppy".
He added: "Sean Buckley was standing close by when the call was made.
"He was heard to say 'he fell from the top to the bottom of the stairs'.
"These were wicked and quite deliberate lies."
Finley was first taken to the Royal Glamorgan Hospital before being transferred to the University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff.
A 10cm by 10cm swelling was later found on the back of the child's head as well as bruising on one of his ears.
Doctors were told by both defendants that they had not seen the fall, but that Finley had "fallen down the stairs before" recently.
However, despite the best efforts of paediatricians, Finley died the following day on September 24.
Mr Thomas said a post-mortem later revealed Finley had several other injuries - including rib fractures and a fractured skull.
"These injuries should not have been present on a 17-month-old child," he added.
The Crown's opening of the case also highlighted a report made by a consultant paediatric radiologist.
It said that Finley's injuries could have been caused after being shaken and thrown or from "multiple impacts".
Mr Thomas also told the court that the report noted thought it was "very unusual" for a child to have the kind of injuries Finley suffered from a fall down the stairs.
"Most falls down the stairs...do not cause subdural haemorrhages," the court was told.
Jurors also learned that they are the second jury to hear the case, after the first was discharged "out of necessity" on Tuesday.
Buckley, of Tonypandy, and Thomas, also of Tonypandy, both deny the charges against them.
The trial, which is expected to last six weeks, continues.