Accused 'found hurt toddler on the floor'

JONO GALUSZKA
Last updated 12:00 13/03/2014

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A toddler who has severe brain damage after suffering serious head injuries could be in a worse state if a voice in the back of his former stepfather's head was not listened to, a court has been told.

Peter Ross Moran, 24, is on trial in the High Court in Palmerston North for allegedly causing the injuries to the child on May 16, 2011.

The defence says it was either an accident or the boy's mother, Renee Robinson, caused the injuries.

It is a retrial, after a jury could not come to a verdict last year.

Yesterday, the jury heard the rest of two police interviews with Moran, after they started watching them on Monday.

While talking to Detective Shelley Ross, Moran said the boy had been up throughout the night.

After putting the boy to bed, Moran stayed up watching television before heading to bed.

As he went to turn out the lights in the house, he checked on the boy.

"I wasn't even going to check on him but a voice in the back of my head said: you better check on the little s... ."

He found the boy unresponsive, naked and cold, lying on the floor.

The boy was taken to hospital before being flown to Starship children's hospital, where he had emergency surgery on his head.

He had a fractured skull and bleeding to his brain, which caused permanent brain damage.

After surgery, the boy recovered at Auckland's Wilson Centre.

Visits to the boy by Ms Robinson were supervised by Joy Hunt, who worked for Child, Youth and Family.

She told the court she had been asked by her supervisor to take notes on the visits.

She detailed an incident where Ms Robinson allegedly was rough with her son.

In a note dated July 1, 2011, Mrs Hunt described Ms Robinson banging the boy's head against the side of the bed.

She had sat the boy up on his side but then let go of him.

He slid down the bed, hit his head on some canvas close to a steel pipe and crumpled.

Ms Robinson was asked to straighten her son out, as his neck was in an awkward position.

She then roughly pulled her son's legs to put him right.

The trial, before Justice Mallon, will wrap up today.

Crown prosecutor Ben Vanderkolk began giving his closing address yesterday and will conclude this morning, before defence lawyer Chris Wilkinson-Smith gives his closing and Justice Mallon sums up the case for the jury of 10 men and two women.

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- Manawatu Standard

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