Portsmouth baby murder trial told little Jake Long suffered 17 rib fractures

Nicola Brown, 42, and Jason Brown, 43,
Nicola Brown, 42, and Jason Brown, 43,

A BABY allegedly murdered by his own mother suffered 17 fractures to his ribs, jurors were told today.

Nicola Brown, 43, is on trial at Winchester Crown Court accused of the murder of 19-day old Jake Long, who died on December 19 in 2014.

Prosecutor Nigel Lickley QC, continuing to open the case, told the jury an expert found the boy suffered 17 fractures to his ribs.

‘He was subject to violence, it would appear, fairly quickly after he left hospital and nearer to the 19th, the day he died,’ Mr Lickley said.

The expert concluded the injuries were ‘consistent with a child being gripped to prevent the child being ejected from that grip whilst they’re being shaken,’ Mr Lickley added.

Winchester Crown Court heard another expert concluded the most likely cause of the infant’s skull fracture was a ‘blow’ with a ‘hard object’.

Jake was born on December 1 in his mother’s pyjamas at their home in Agincourt Road, Portsmouth, on the day she informed midwives she was pregnant, the court heard yesterday.

Both she and the boy’s father were arrested at Southampton General Hospital after the death of the infant.

Nicola Brown, of Seymour Close, Buckland, denies murder and two counts of GBH with intent, relating to the previous alleged injuries.

Jason Brown, 44, also of Seymour Close, is on trial accused of causing or allowing the death of the child. He denies the charge.

Jurors were told yesterday the pair were in a ‘volatile’ relationship, and Nicola Brown had referred to herself as ‘messed up’ and them both as ‘ticking time bombs’.

Today the court heard in an interview after her arrest Nicola Brown had told police Jake had fallen from his Moses basket.

Summarising the interview, Mr Lickley said: ‘She said that on the 18th, the day before the events of which you’re principally concerned, she left Jake in the Moses basket and gone upstairs.

‘She came downstairs to see Jake on the floor and picked him up and he was not crying.

‘She checked him, he seemed fine. He had no marks on him at all.’

Mr Lickley added Nicola Brown said she ‘could not see’ any injuries and he ‘was not distressed’.

She also told police she had not concealed the pregnancy but had only found out she was pregnant six to eight weeks before the birth, Mr Lickley said.

In one of his police interviews, Jason Brown denied causing any injury to Jake.

Mr Lickley said: ‘He regarded Nicola Brown as a good mother.’

Mr Lickley added Jason Brown said the birth was ‘out of this world’.

‘Nicola’s bond with Jake was excellent and she doted on him,’ Mr Lickley added, describing Jason Brown’s interview.

Concluding his opening, Mr Lickley said a baby a few days old is vulnerable and needs almost constant attention.

He added: ‘It’s a demand that’s placed on parents for sometime.

‘Those demands must be balanced with care and protection.

‘A baby is ultimately dependent on his parents for his safety and protection.

‘Unfortunately Jake was not cared for and protected appropriately.’

The trial opened at Winchester Crown Court yesterday.