Northampton toddler had rib fractures from "weeks, days and hours" leading up to death, court hears

Forensic investigators at the house in Arthur Street, Northampton
Forensic investigators at the house in Arthur Street, Northampton

A jury has heard how a Northampton toddler who died while in the care of his father also had rib fractures dating back to weeks before his death.

Raphael Kennedy, 31, is accused of carrying out a brutal assault on his two-year-old son, Dylan, before waiting two hours to call an ambulance on December 15 last year. He is now standing trial charged with murder.

But at Northampton Crown Court today (October 8), the jury heard how the boy had an extensive series of rib fractures that would have been inflicted hours, days and weeks before his death - which were "likely not accidental".

The court heard the expert evidence of Professor Chas Mangham, who examined a series of eight fractures to the tot's ribcage.

While one set of fractures would have occurred "between three to six" hours before his death, Professor Mangham testified that another fracture was caused "just days" earlier and another set was "up to 10 weeks old".

He said: "These injuries would have taken very significant force... the sort imparted by a punch, kick or blow with an object.

"It would have been very painful... The injuries would have been from three different time periods at a minimum.

"This is the kind of pattern formed in classic cases of non-accidental injuries."

A post-mortem revealed that Dylan had also suffered multiple lacerations to this liver and substantial bleeding in his abdomen.

In total, the two-year-old displayed a total of 39 external injuries, including 'tram-track- bruising consistent with being hit with a thin, straight object like a rod or cable.

Kennedy claims Dylan had been "fine" in the hours leading up to the boy's death, but had slipped over and banged his chin in the park earlier that day.

Prof Mangham told the court: "These injuries [prior to Dylan's death] would have caused considerable pain and distress [...] and could have taken place more than three hours before his death."

The trial continues.