A dad killed his newborn baby by shaking him with force similar to a car accident or a fall from a multi-storey building, a murder trial has heard.Abel-Jax Mailey was just seven weeks old when it is alleged his father, Oliver Mailey inflicted fatal injuries on him at their home in Burnley, Lancashire.
After first claiming he found Abel-Jax limp and lifeless in his cot, Mailey, 26, admitted he had shaken the infant and pleaded guilty to manslaughter.But he is accused of intending to cause the baby serious harm and a murder trial opened at Preston Crown Court today (12th January).
Prosecutor Timothy Cray KC addressing the jury, said Mailey was in sole charge of the baby at the home on Piccadilly Road on 28 November 2021.
Within an hour of Abel-Jax's mum, Mollie Gorton, leaving for work at 11:15am, the baby had suffered serious injuries and needed to be taken to hospital by ambulance.An examination discovered that Abel-Jax suffered traumatic injuries, including catastrophic brain damage and severe bleeding and tearing injuries in his eyes.
He explained that doctors agreed the injuries were consistent with “forceful and deliberate shaking” on the Sunday morning in question.Mr Cray said: “After death, evidence was also found of old, healing incidents to Abel’s brain which suggested there was also previous shaking."
Mr Cray explained that these injuries are not caused accidentally and said could only otherwise happen in a situation such as a “car accident or fall from a multi-storey building”. Outlining the lead up to the tragic death, Mr Cray explained that Mailey repeatedly challenged Miss Gorton on whether the baby was actually his because he knew he had a low sperm count.
Tensions between the couple were bad enough for him to move out for a few months before the baby was born. They eventually reconciled but problems remained, the court heard.Mr Cray told the jury: “Another issue was both parents were regular users of cannabis.
Mollie says she was trying to cut down her use but that the defendant was unable to do the same.
"The phone records show that he was arranging to buy cannabis on the Sunday morning that Abel was killed”Although Miss Gorton said she felt their relationship went downhill after Abel-Jax was born, she did not think there was an issue with his childcare ability and believed that he loved the baby and was willing to do his share of the parenting. During Abel-Jax's short life, concerns were noted by Miss Gorton's godmother, Charlene Hay, who called at the house when Mailey was looking after the baby alone.
She noticed Abel-Jax screaming with particular distress and was concerned about what appeared to be a fresh bruise developing on his ear.
She considered what she noticed such an issue that she told Ms Gorton and made a note on her calendar, the court heard.Mailey, of Bowness Road, Burnley, was questioned by Miss Gorton over whether he had shaken the baby after he was rushed to hospital but repeatedly denied it.
He was arrested in July 2022, but denies murder, the trial continues.