A baby who suffered brain trauma after allegedly being “shaken repeatedly” by her sitter could be affected by mental difficulties for the rest of her life.
Syeda Begum, 29, has gone on trial at the High Court in Aberdeen accused of causing the infant to suffer bleeding on her brain and from her eyes while babysitting her on New Year’s Day in 2017.
The child was critically ill when taken to hospital in an ambulance and needed help breathing.
She suffered seizures in the days afterwards and was not deemed fit to return home for nearly a fortnight.
Lynne McDonald, a specialist doctor in general paediatrics and part of the child protection team at Royal Aberdeen Children’s Hospital, took care of the girl in the days after she was admitted.
Yesterday, Dr McDonald said that subsequent examinations of the baby had indicated that she is developing normally “at the moment” – but warned that how she could be affected later in life remains unknown.
Dr McDonald said: “The nature of her head injury was such that she potentially could still have problems in the future.
“These wouldn’t be gross neurological problems, but she could have issues with intelligence, learning, memory and concentration.
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“These, and her behaviour, are all things that could still be impacted by having had a severe head injury as an infant.”
The jury of seven men and eight women were shown medical records which described the baby as “floppy and blue” when paramedics arrived at Begum’s property on Headland Road in Aberdeen.
Defence advocate, Frances Connor, talked Dr McDonald through the child’s hospital stay and her improving health.
Ms Connor suggested that some of the baby’s symptoms could have been caused by having a cold.
She also highlighted that the child’s father had asked if the baby had been shaken.
Ms Connor said: “In discussions with police and social workers days after the baby was admitted, her dad asked about shaking.
“He stated that a friend mentioned it to him.”
The baby suffered seizures while in hospital and prosecutors allege that she was shaken to her “severe injury, permanent impairment and danger of her life”.
Earlier this week, experts in child brain and eye injuries agreed that it was most likely the child’s injuries were caused by being violently shaken.
The trial, before Lord Uist, will continue next week.