Mum admits violence
The mother of a toddler found lying naked on his bedroom floor with severe brain injuries has admitted she hit her boy earlier that day but denies responsibility for what happened later.
Peter Ross Moran, 23, is on trial accused of injuring the boy, then aged 2 years and 9 months, overnight on May 16, 2011.
Moran, of Flaxmere, Hastings, was at that stage living with his former partner, Renee Robinson, and her son at a Ruahine St, Palmerston North, house.
When the boy was found in the early hours of the morning, Moran and Robinson were the only two adults home.
The boy had head injuries, requiring treatment at Starship children's hospital in Auckland, which the Crown says Moran was responsible for.
The defence says Moran never laid a hand on the boy and the injuries were inflicted accidentally or by Robinson.
In the High Court at Palmerston North yesterday, defence lawyer Chris Wilkinson-Smith asked Robinson if she inflicted the severe injuries on May 16.
At the time she was pregnant and suffering from morning sickness.
Earlier that day her son had spat at her, and Robinson said she "smacked him across the face".
Wilkinson-Smith asked her if she lashed out later. "You chucked him because you lost your temper or did you strike him in the head," Wilkinson-Smith asked.
Robinson said she did neither.
She admitted to sometimes physically disciplining her son, but denied a string of accusations put to her by Wilkinson-Smith.
Wilkinson-Smith said she threw the boy hard on his pillow and pulled him into the side of his bed at a rehabilitation centre as the boy recovered in 2011, and struck him when she lived in Whanganui in 2010. Robinson denied that and said that at the rehabilitation centre she was supervised at all times when with her son.
Wilkinson-Smith said a centre worker would tell the court she saw the incidents he alleged, so either she or Robinson was lying.
Robinson said she was not lying.
"I know it didn't happen."
On Wednesday, Robinson told Justice Lowell Goddard and the jury that when Moran was charged, he and his sister asked her to change her police statement to say she was awake at the time her son was injured.
Wilkinson-Smith accused her of lying about that and asked if she had, in fact, been asked to tell police she had been violent toward her son in the days before his injury.
Robinson said this was not the case. She said she had never accused Moran. "I trusted Peter [Moran] and I didn't think that he did it."
Paediatric radiologist Russell Metcalfe said that early on May 17 the boy came to Palmerston North Hospital with a fracture to the right side of his skull. It was caused by a "non-accidental trauma" - either it hit something or something hit the head.
Moran faces a charge of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, and an alternative count of wounding with reckless disregard for the boy's safety.
The trial continues.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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