Shaking may have killed girl

Andrew McCaren/Ross Parry Picture shows Mark Lackenby at Sheffield Crown Court.
Andrew McCaren/Ross Parry Picture shows Mark Lackenby at Sheffield Crown Court.

A BABY’S head injuries could have been caused by shaking, impact or a combination of both according to an expert in a murder trial.

Sheffield Crown Court heard five-week-old Ruby Lackenby suffered subdural bleeding – a haemorrhage to the outer layer of the brain – between seven and 10 days before she collapsed at home.

The prosecution alleges her father Mark Lackenby, 32 caused the injuries before the newborn’s death in February 2011. A post-mortem examination revealed Ruby had fractures to her ribs, severe swelling to the brain and damage to nerve fibres in her spine and brain.

Dr Daniel Duplessis, a neopathologist who carried out an examination on the youngster, said: “The injury to the neck part is still under consideration but it could have been caused by trauma, extreme motion of the spine.

“You would not expect that as a normal feature of normal movement. A significant shaking act could do that.”

The court heard there were also signs of deprivation of oxygen and blood to the brain, likely to have been caused when Ruby went into respiratory failure at her home in Barnsley.

Lackenby is said to have attempted resuscitation before ambulance staff took over and transported her to hospital in Barnsley.

She died at Sheffield Children’s Hospital the next day.

Andrew Robertson, defending, argued that some of the injuries found on the baby’s brain were typical of cot death.

Lackenby, of High Street, Goldthorpe, Barnsley denies murder.

Ruby’s mum Gemma Coates, aged 31, a former nursery worker, also of Goldthorpe, is accused of attempting to pervert the course of justice.

The trial continues.