Gosport baby death trial: Jury told mother and her partner tested positive for drugs day after infant had skull fracture symptoms

THE mother of a three-week-old baby who died of a fatal head injury and her former partner both tested positive for cocaine and cannabis after the infant fell ill, a court has heard.

Tuesday, 23rd October 2018, 3:37 pm
Updated Wednesday, 24th October 2018, 7:13 am
Baby Stanley Davis. Picture: Hampshire police/PA

Roxanne Davis, 30, from Gosport but who now lives at Milton Road, Waterlooville, and Samuel Davies, 24, of Mayfield Road, Southampton, are on trial at Winchester Crown Court accused of causing or allowing the death of infant Stanley Davis.

Prosecutor James Newton-Price QC said the pair's '˜drug use was part of the instability and volatility of a relationship characterised by frequent rows and bad tempered exchanges'.

Mr Newton-Price told the court the baby died of a skull fracture and brain haemorrhage aged just 24 days on March 28, 2017.

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Baby Stanley Davis. Picture: Hampshire police/PA

He had also suffered 32 fractures to his ribs and nine fractures to his arms and legs sustained during three separate occasions, the prosecutor added.

Mr Newton-Price said police were called to an argument at the couple's flat on March 11.

He added: 'There are other indications the defendants were arguing with each other and they had very little patience.

'˜Text messages between them show angry exchanges on both sides.'

Roxanne Davis outside court at a previous hearing

The court heard in one message, Davis wrote: 'I am not a stay-at-home mum,' and in another: 'Everyone is going to know what a woman-beater and druggie you are.'

Mr Newton-Price said there were 'quite common' references to cannabis and cocaine use in the text exchanges and on March 20 Davies had phoned a doctor, saying: 'I have serious mental health problems and I have been using a lot of cocaine to deal with it.'

Mr Newton-Price added: 'It's within hours of that call that Stanley starts to show symptoms that are consistent with a non-accidental brain injury arising from a skull fracture.'

He said both defendants tested positive for drugs the following day.

He added that the pair had 'lied' about their drug use when asked by a social worker with each saying they would 'never' do anything like that.

Mr Newton-Price said that on March 15, Davies had taken a photo of an article in The Sun newspaper about a mother who had taken her dead baby on to a bus to avoid detection over the child's death from a head injury.

He said the following day a large bruise was found behind Stanley's right ear and added: 'The prosecution ask rhetorically: what is Sam's interest in that court case?'

He added: 'We say that their drug use was part of the instability and volatility of a relationship characterised by frequent rows and bad tempered exchanges.

'These are precisely the conditions in which a young baby might come to harm living in a cramped flat with two adults sometimes affected by drugs and prone to angry outbursts.

He added: 'They lie about their drug use to a social worker; they misled a social worker who was trying to ask questions to ensure Stanley was safe in their care.'

The defendants, who share similar surnames but are not married, both deny the charge .

Opening the prosecution case, Mr Newton-Price said: 'We say Stanley was unlawfully killed by the violent actions of one of these two defendants.

'One of these two defendants inflicted fatal injuries to Stanley's head, causing a skull fracture and a brain haemorrhage from which he could not recover.

'The other defendant was aware or ought to have been aware that there was a risk of serious harm to this child and they failed to take the necessary steps to protect Stanley.'

He added: 'In this case, the prosecution cannot say which defendant caused the fatal injury to the head or whether one or both of them caused the bone fractures on the earlier occasions.

'In this case, it's necessary to prove that one of them caused the fatal injury and the other allowed it to happen as they were aware, or ought to have been aware, of the risk and they failed to protect Stanley from this.'