A 30 year old man has been found guilty of killing his seven-week-old son, a court has heard.
Brian Penn inflicted ‘severe trauma’ on baby Kaleb at their home in Ayr, South Ayrshire.
Medics described his injuries as only seen after a ‘fall from a height or road traffic incident’.
The baby suffered a skull fracture, a bleed to the brain, a serious brain injury and fractured ribs. He died two days after he was admitted to hospital in 2017.
The court earlier heard that Penn compressed and shook Kaleb and that he ‘repeatedly inflict blunt force trauma’ on the child by ‘means unknown’.
Penn was originally charged with murder and attempted murder but on Wednesday, May 19, he was found guilty of culpable homicide and assault.
As the verdict was pronounced at Glasgow’s High Court, Penn showed no emotion.
Penn – who will be sentenced next month – did not give evidence during the trial but did lodge an incrimination claiming the baby’s mother Kelly-Ann Cope, 31, was responsible.
Reports say Miss Cope was woken up by Penn who claimed Kaleb ‘wasn’t breathing’ on November 1, 2017.
She said the baby’s eyes were ‘rolling to the back of his head’ before he was rushed to hospital in an ambulance. The infant died two days later.
Penn claimed Kaleb had a ‘choking episode’ after eating prune juice.
But a doctor who examined Caleb after his death told the court a level of brain injury which doctors fear was caused when the baby was dropped to the ground – ‘would have led Kaleb to be unresponsive’.
The mum said in court: ‘He said the wean wasn’t breathing. I was in bed and Kaleb was in his arms at the bedroom door.’
Prosecutor Erin Campbell asked how Kaleb was and she replied: ‘I put my hand on his heart and it was still beating but I couldn’t understand why he wasn’t breathing.
‘His eyes were rolling to the back of his head.’
Miss Cope said she could not watch as ambulance crews tended to Kaleb and rushed him to hospital.
Prosecutors put it to Miss Cope that she knew about Kaleb choking on prune juice as she said it during the 999 call.
Miss Cope was asked how she knew and she replied: ‘Brian came in and I asked what happened and he said Kaleb choked on prune juice but I didn’t know more about it.’
‘He said he patted his back and said he stiffened up, his body went flimsy then realised he wasn’t breathing.’
It was also put to the mother that she told police in a statement that Kaleb had a bump on the back of his head – but did not tell ambulance crews.
Miss Cope said she had not known that the baby hit his head. Miss Campbell asked: ‘Did you forget or deliberately not tell them?’
Miss Cope said: ‘I did forget as my head was discombobulated as my thoughts were to see my son.’
Miss Cope denied causing Kaleb’s injuries stating: ‘I wouldn’t harm anyone, I couldn’t kill a spider.’
Nurse Carol McNeill earlier told jurors that she spoke to Penn after Kaleb arrived at the hospital.
Mrs McNeill stated: ‘He said that he had been feeding the baby and there had been a choking episode.
‘He (Kaleb) had vomited, but that it was not vomit.’
Consultant neuropathologist professor Colin Smith, 53, who examined Kaleb’s brain after his death said: ‘[Kaleb’s injuries] are only seen in a setting of severe trauma, this is either a fall from a height or road traffic incident.’
Prof Smith also claimed there was evidence of previous bleeding to the brain dated seven to 10 days before Kaleb’s death.
He was then asked: ‘We may hear evidence that three weeks before his death, he may have been dropped from about 12 inches to the ground.
‘Was a fall like that likely to have caused the injuries to the brain?’
Prof Smith replied: ‘It is possible.’
The case continues.