Baby Peter’s injuries at death
· Some time after 19 July, injuries to the fingers of the right hand including loss of soft tissue to the right middle finger.
· Some months before death a fractured tibia.
· Up to 2 weeks before death rib fractures. The pathologist found 7 fractures to the front of the third to ninth left ribs. Considerable force would have been needed to inflict these injuries because a child’s rib is very pliable and they were inflicted as they result of very forceful squeezing of the Peter’s chest.
· About 3 or 4 days before death a broken spinal cord. This was an inflicted injury and the most serious and significant suffered by Peter before his death. It was caused when his back was forcefully held over a knee, banister or side of the cot. It required a large amount of force which had been uniformly applied to the spine, equivalent to that sustained in a car crash.
· On 1 August 3 bruises to the left side of the face with an infected raw area in the front of the left ear and about 10 bruises on his upper back between the shoulder blades.
· On 2 August a forceful knocking into his mouth of a tooth which was ingested. The forceful knocking could have caused the upper spine injury to re-bleed and in turn could have affected respiratory and cardiac functions. It could well be the immediate cause of death.
· Post mortem further revealed:
· 10 injuries to the head, face and ears including a torn frenulum indicating another forceful inflicted injury, a raw injury to the gum and an area where the skin of the left ear had been split and pulled away from its base, consistent with the action of gripping the lobe and pulling
· 5 injuries to the back and chest
· 3 injuries to Peter’s hands including the removal of a fingernail
· 4 injuries to legs and feet including the apparently deliberate removal of the nail of the right big toe
· Significant weight loss