Northampton toddler had 39 recent injuries at time of death, court hears as murder trial starts

The Raphael Kennedy trial began today at Northampton Crown Court
The Raphael Kennedy trial began today at Northampton Crown Court

A two-year-old boy allegedly murdered by his father in Northampton had "at least 39 recent external injuries" at the time of his death, a Crown Court jury was told today.

Prosecutor Jonas Hankin QC told Northampton Crown Court that Dylan was in severe pain before his father Raphael Kennedy, 30, called an ambulance.

The jury heard that a delay between the time the injuries were caused (believed to be around 11am) and the calling of the ambulance at 12.32pm likely contributed to the toddler's death.

Kennedy denies murder and his trial began at Northampton Crown Court today, Monday.

"On December 15, 2017, while in the sole care of his father, Mr Raphael Kennedy, two-year-old Dylan collapsed into cardio-respiratory failure," said Mr Hankin.

"The post-mortem examination revealed multiple lacerations to his liver as well as substantial bleeding into the abdominal cavity.

"The cause of his death was ultimately declared to be blunt force abdominal injury.

"The post-mortem examination, histology and radiological examinations also revealed at least 15 rib fractures and they were of at least three different ages, indicating - say the prosecution - that Dylan had sustained multiple episodes of abusive trauma."

Unemployed Kennedy is accused of kicking and/or punching his son and at some stage beating him with a weapon based on 'tram-track' bruising to Dylan's arms, a type of mark caused by a thin, straight object like a rod or cable.

The defendant denies murdering his son at an address in Arthur Street, Kingsthorpe, where heroin, cocaine and cannabis were found by police.

"The prosecution says that Dylan was subjected to a sustained and vicious assault, involving kicks and or punches and the use of a weapon," said Mr Hankin.

"Such as the viciousness of the assault that caused Dylan's fatal injuries, Mr Kennedy must have intended to cause Dylan really serious harm."

He added: "Dylan would have appeared extremely distressed. The injuries to the abdomen would have caused severe pain and would have made it difficult for him to stand up or walk.

"The rip fractures would have made it difficult for Dylan to breathe without pain."

Kennedy found out he was Dylan's father on September 28, 2017, by DNA testing, months before the toddler's death.

The trial continues.