Accused Northampton toddler murderer told police his son's broken ribs were result of a fall

Forensic officers at the scene in Arthur Street last December.
Forensic officers at the scene in Arthur Street last December.

A Northampton man accused of murdering his son by beating him and causing 39 different injuries told police the two-year-old died from falling over.

Raphael Kennedy, 31, is alleged to have carried out a brutal assault on the child, Dylan, at his home before waiting two hours to call an ambulance on December 15 last year.

When paramedics arrived at the house in Arthur Street, Northampton, they found the tot's lifeless body.

Dylan was rushed to Northampton General Hospital at 12.30pm but was pronounced dead just 30 minutes later.

Kennedy faced jurors for the first day of his trial at Northampton Crown Court yesterday, where prosecutor Jonas Hankin outlined the case against him.

He revealed that, during police interviews, Kennedy claimed Dylan had injured himself by falling over and he had picked him up by the armpits telling him 'big boy's don't cry'.

He also described his son as "annoying to sleep next to" because he was "always ill" - but denied ever causing the injuries.

Mr Hankin added: "In his first interview he stated that he had collected Dylan from his grandfather on Monday evening.

"He stated that he found out he was Dylan's father at the end of September 2017.

"Kennedy said he left his flat at 11.45am to go to the Guildhall, where he needed to sign on at 12pm - with Dylan walking behind him.

"He stated that he heard Dylan fall over and scream. He said Dylan said 'face hurts, hurt, hurt'.

"He said that Dylan must have fallen over near the bins.

"Kennedy said he picked up Dylan and took him back to the flat and rang his mother to tell her.

"He said Dylan had a small gash on his chin and he took Dylan into the bedroom and laid him on the bed and gave him a drink of orange.

"He states that he went out of the room for no longer than two minutes and returned to find Dylan unresponsive with his eyes open.

"In his second interview on December 16, he said Dylan had tears in his eyes and said 'face hurt, hurt'.

"Kennedy said he picked him up by the armpits and said 'you're a big boy, big boys don't cry - I always told him that'.

"He said Dylan was rolling around and fidgety - he was annoying to sleep next to and always ill.

"He said Dylan would always pick things up and sometimes put it in his mouth.

"When asked if he took drugs, he said 'yeah, but I know none would be around Dylan'.

"In his final interview, on December 17, Kennedy denied causing any of the injuries that were found in the post-mortem examinations.

"In particular, he denied hitting Dylan with an object and he denied causing any injuries to Dylan's abdomen.

"When asked 'if you didn't cause these injuries who did?' He replied 'I can't answer because no one's touched him'."

The court was also told how CT scans conducted at the hospital found Dylan had suffered no fewer than 12 fractures to his ribs.

Mr Hankin said: "Dr Fairhurst, a consultant radiologist stated: 'At the time when these fractures occurred I would expect Dylan to be distressed and for him to show signs of distress for some time after the fractures were sustained.

"Any carer present when these fractures occurred would be aware that Dylan had suffered a significant injury.

"Subsequently I would expect Dylan to show distress when his chest was moved, such as during, or when he was picked up.

"Professor Mangham, a consultant osteoarticular pathologist, did not find any evidence of any underlying bone disease which may have made the bones more susceptible to fracture.

"He concluded that all of the fractures would have occurred through forcible compression and/or direct blunt trauma such as a kick or punch and would have involved a considerable degree of force."

The trial continues.