Number of broken ribs on Northampton toddler 'more often seen in road traffic collisions or abuse', jury in murder trial hears

Forensic investigators at the house in Arthur Street, Northampton, after Dylan was discovered.
Forensic investigators at the house in Arthur Street, Northampton, after Dylan was discovered.

The bruises and broken ribs of a Northampton toddler who died in the care of his father were "consistent with abuse," a court has heard.

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.

Northampton Crown Court heard today (October 11) how paediatricians often consider two or more rib fractures on a toddler that cannot be explained by an accident are "associated with abuse".

A post-mortem revealed Dylan had upwards of 13 broken ribs at the time of his death.

Two of the fractures were also dated back to up to two weeks before his death. They were among 39 recent external injuries he suffered before death.

Consultant paediatrician Dr Roger Malcomson - who helped conduct a post-mortem on Dylan - told the court the high number of injuries are more often seen in "either a fall from a significant height, a road traffic accident or abuse".

Prosecutor Jonas Hankin QC asked consultant paediatrician Dr Malcomson: "What would your comment be on the cause of these fractures?"

Dr Malcomson said: "The more fractures there are the most likely it is to be abuse."

The court also heard the bruises and fractures were not caused by attempts to resuscitate the toddler.

Kennedy is accused of carrying out a brutal attack on the boy before waiting two hours to call an ambulance.

The jury heard post-mortem evidence that showed how Dylan's rib fractures and liver damage were inflicted "upwards of two hours" before death.

On the day of Dylan's death (December 15, 2017) a 999 call was placed at 12.32pm. The first paramedic crew arrived at Kennedy's flat at 12.39pm.

Kennedy's defence barrister Mr Michael Mather-Lees QC says there was "no doubt at all" that Dylan died as a result of a brutal assault.

Kennedy is expected to take the stand tomorrow (October 12).

The trial continues.