The man accused of inflicting severe head injuries on a toddler did not ask the boy's mother to change her story about what happened, the man's child abuse trial has been told.
Peter Ross Moran, 23, is 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, the boy's mother, Renee Robinson, and the boy at a Ruahine St, Palmerston North, house.
Moran and Ms Robinson were the only two adults home on the night in question.
Moran was charged by police in October 2011. At that time, Ms Robinson was living with his family in Hawke's Bay and she has told the court Moran and his sister, Angela Broyden, asked her to change her police statement to say she was awake when the boy was found.
Ms Robinson says she went to bed early that night and was asleep when Moran alerted her to her son's condition.
Ms Broyden said she and Moran never asked Ms Robinson to lie.
"I disagree with it," she said when asked to comment on Ms Robinson's version of events.
The boy was found lying on his bedroom floor naked and cold. He suffered head injuries 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 Ms Robinson.
In the High Court at Palmerston North yesterday, Ms Broyden said she told Moran to move away from Ms Robinson and the boy because it was affecting his university studies.
"It would be easier to move into a place where he could be with other people studying. It was [because of] Ms Robinson's volatile nature and her lack of parenting skills. It was not so much [the boy] being disruptive," Ms Broyden said.
On May 16, she said she rang Moran to talk about a university assignment and heard Ms Robinson ask him if he would like a coffee.
Ms Broyden could not remember what time she called, but said it was after Californication had aired on television. She never saw Moran act violently toward children and described him as a "gentle giant".
Family friend Lorraine Cameron said Moran was "very gentle".
After the boy was injured, Moran told her he discovered him lying on the floor, called 111 and gave the boy CPR until an ambulance arrived.
Moran said Ms Robinson was "interfering" when he was giving the boy mouth to mouth. "She was trying to shake the child to wake him."
Ambulance driver Alan Jenkins said he was concerned to find the boy lying on the floor naked. "I was surprised at how cold the young child was. It was as if he'd been out in the snow."
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 next week.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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