Hot car death trial: Marks found on baby Isaiah Neil 'characteristic of a bite'

Donna Catherine Parangi is on trial in the High Court at Rotorua charged with the manslaughter of her grandson.
TOM LEE/FAIRFAX NZ

Donna Catherine Parangi is on trial in the High Court at Rotorua charged with the manslaughter of her grandson.

A baby who died after being left in a hot car was found to have marks on his body consistent with being bitten.

That was the view of pathologist Dr Joanna Glengarry who was giving evidence during the High Court trial of Isaiah Neil's grandmother, Donna Catherine Parangi, at Rotorua.

Parangi is defending a sole charge of manslaughter over the child's death in 2015.

Under questioning from Crown lawyer Anna Pollet, Glengarry described marks she found on the child's body while conducting a post mortem. 

READ MORE:
Family 'on drugs' while baby dies in hot car
Gran in hot car baby death thought windows were left down

 

She described bruising on his abdomen as well as bruising and abrasions on his elbow "characteristic of a bite mark".

"An unusual injury, something we call an inflicted injury," Glengarry said.

She was unable however to point to a specific time of death.

"Unlike television and CSI pathologists in real life are not that good at time of death. The reality is there is no accurate way to determine time of death. There are too many variables involved."

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The trial - which was conducted in Parangi's absence on Friday - also heard evidence from paediatrician Dr David Newman. 

He described the heat build up in the car as "like having a saucepan on the stove" and said "it is clear the deceased died of heat stress".

He also told the jury about the catastrophic effects of heat stress on the human body.

"A whole lot of biological processes come under stress and don't work so well," he said.

"It's cell suicide. If they become damaged enough they start to commit suicide. Once things get bad enough with your nervous system, fortunately you become unconscious."

Newman also raised the possibility Isaiah was dead when he was removed from the car at around 3.30pm - still three hours before an ambulance was called.

"At that point he was already unconscious and in very severe trouble, if not already deceased," he said.

Over the course of the trial's first week, the jury heard Isaiah died after being left to overheat in a car while his mother and grandmother smoked synthetic cannabis and passed out.

 - Stuff

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