A jury will today meet to decide the fate of a babysitter accused of shaking an infant in her care and placing the child’s life “at risk”.
Syeda Begum, 29, is charged with shaking a young child and causing her injury on New Year’s Day 2017.
The “floppy and blue” infant was rushed to Royal Aberdeen Children’s Hospital, and was found to have bleeding on the brain and from her eyes.
The baby, who cannot be named for legal reasons, spent nearly a fortnight at hospital before being allowed to return home.
Yesterday a jury at the High Court in Aberdeen, where Begum is on trial, were presented with closing arguments.
Advocate depute Martin Richardson told the jury that, prior to 9.10pm on the evening of the alleged incident, the child was “healthy and normal.”
Mr Richardson said: “By around 9.37pm, the baby was critically ill and struggling to breathe.
“The child had intracranial bleeding, and both eyes had suffered from retinal haemorrhage.”
He continued his argument to the jury, and said the medical professionals who had stood on the witness stand put forward evidence which suggested the injuries the child sustained could not have been a result of an everyday domestic accident, or from a previous medical condition.
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Finally, he told the jury they should find Begum guilty because given the severity of the baby’s injuries, it would be hard to argue they were sustained by anything other than shaking, and suggested the accused had “snapped” before carrying out the alleged violence.
Defence solicitor Frances Connor told the jury that Begum is a normal, mild-mannered individual who cared deeply for the child in question, and had never shown any signs of mental health issues.
She told the jury: “Where is the evidence that she snapped under pressure?
“There is no evidence that she is prone to violence, or to taking her temper out on tiny babies.”
Ms Connor also argued that the child’s injuries could have been a result of other conditions, and argued that there is still a lot medical science does not understand about the brains of children.
She also called into question the reliability of the parents of the child, who gave evidence at an earlier date.
The defence solicitor told the jury that over the course of their cross-examination, the pair answered “I can’t remember” about 480 times.
The trial, before Lord Uist, continues today.