Murder trial hears of 'appalling catalogue of injuries' suffered by baby

Christopher Easey is on trial accused of the murder of his three-month-old daughter Eleanor.

Christopher Easey is going on trial at Norwich Crown Court accused of the murder of his three-month-old daughter Eleanor. - Credit: Brittany Woodman, Archant Norfolk

The trial of a man accused of murdering his own baby daughter has heard more about the "appalling catalogue of injuries" she suffered in the days and weeks before her death.

Christopher Easey, 31, is facing a trial at Norwich Crown Court, charged with the murder of his three-month-old daughter, Eleanor.

Paramedics found her "pale, floppy and lethargic" after they were called to her Morton on the Hill home, near Lenwade at about 8.25pm on December 18 2019.

Morton on the Hill. PIC: Peter Walsh.

Morton on the Hill. PIC: Peter Walsh. - Credit: Archant

She was found to have significant head injuries, including bleeding around the brain, and taken to the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital before being transferred to Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge.

She died on December 20 2019 as a result of a catastrophic brain injury.

The court has heard from Sally Howes QC, prosecuting, it is the crown's case Eleanor died as a result of an "inflicted, non-accidental injury".

She said Eleanor was murdered by her father Christopher Easey while her mother, Carly Easey, allowed the death to occur and had "failed to protect this vulnerable young child".

Christopher Easey (left) and Carly Easey (right) who have gone on trial following the death of three-month-old Eleanor Easey.

Christopher Easey (left) and Carly Easey (right) who have gone on trial at Norwich Crown Court following the death of three-month-old Eleanor Easey. - Credit: Brittany Woodman, Archant Norfolk

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On Friday (January 14) Ms Howes, who continued to open the prosecution case, said neuro pathologists examining Eleanor was  to find “small thin fragments of bleeding around the brain”.

Bleeding was found around the tough outer layer that protects the brain as well as subdural bleeding. Some of the bleeding was found to be “several weeks old”, some “several days old” while there was also bleeding that was “less than 48 hours old”.

The neuro-pathologist also found bleeding in “parts of the spinal cord”, some of which was less than 48 hours old.

Damage was also found at the lower part of the brain stem that was in keeping with recent traumatic damage.

Ms Howes said Eleanor's eyes were also examined and although no developmental problems were found, experts noted “extensive”, “multi-layered bleeding” in both eyes. 

There was also bleeding around the optic nerve where “older deposits of blood” were also found. With no accident to explain the injuries it was thought they were the result of “non accidental head trauma”.

Ms Howes said Eleanor was also found to have suffered 31 rib fractures, including 17 at the front and 14 at the back, which were found to have occurred at four different times.

Medical experts found some of the fractures would have occurred between 36 hours and four days prior to death, with some occurring between three and eight days prior to death.

Others were said to have happened between one and two weeks before death and some two to four weeks before death.

A paediatric radiologist who completed an examination of the injuries found the injuries she suffered were “strongly indicative of inflicted injury”.

Ms Howes said another expert found a "single traumatic event cannot explain these injuries".

She said Christopher Easey was "responsible for those earlier injuries" and was ultimately "responsible for the death of Eleanor".

Ms Howes said Eleanor died from "a deliberate non accidental impact injury involving some form of shaking and probably an impact to the right side of her head".

Christopher Easey, of Ely Road, Little Thetford, Ely, has pleaded not guilty to murdering Eleanor and has also denied a charge of cruelty to a person under 16 between September 12 2019 and December 20 2019.

His wife, and Eleanor's mother, Carly Easey, 36, formerly of Old Roman Bank, Terrington St Clement, but now of Elizabeth Drive, Chedburgh, has denied causing or allowing the death of a child.

Carly Easey who is going on trial having been accused of causing or allowing the death of a child, and neglect.

Carly Easey who is going on trial at Norwich Crown Court having been accused of causing or allowing the death of a child, and neglect. - Credit: Brittany Woodman, Archant Norfolk

She has also denied a charge of cruelty to a person under 16.

The trial continues.