July 12, 2021 4.17 pm

Baby’s fatal brain injuries linked to being shaken, jury told

The baby collapsed and died six days later

Brain injuries found on an 11-week-old baby allegedly murdered by his father in Lincolnshire could be explained by shaking, a jury was told today.

Martynas Bugaila was taken by his mother to hospital after he collapsed at the family home in Boston and appeared lifeless.

He had suffered brain injuries and was transferred to the Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham where he passed away six days later.

Jay Jayamohan, a consultant paediatric neurosurgeon, told the jury at Lincoln Crown Court: “A shaking injury would explain all of these injuries in total. It is possible that there was also an impact injury to the left side of the head.

“I do not think that purely a head impact injury would be sufficient to explain these injuries, so either a shake or a shake with impact, but not just an impact.

“I think it most likely he would have become unconscious at the time this was inflicted.”

Granville Street, Boston. | Photo: John Aron

The consultant was also asked about the cause of older injuries found on Martynas.

Mr Jayamohan said: “In 25 years of neurosurgery I have never seen any injuries like this from accident. I am having difficulty thinking what accidental injuries could have caused this to Martynas.

“I think that these older injuries have been caused by trauma. By that I mean by a physical injury. These injuries are most in keeping with a shaking injury. A non-impact trauma.”

The jury has been told that Martynas, who was born nine weeks prematurely, had been briefly left with his father Haroldas Bugaila in an upstairs bedroom at the family home in Granville Street on March 27, 2019 when the defendant suddenly shouted for help saying “Come. There’s something wrong.”

Jonas Hankin QC, prosecuting, said the baby’s mother ran upstairs to find him completely white and not breathing. She tried to revive him using a method she had been shown and then rang for a taxi to take him to hospital.

Martynas was subsequently diagnosed as having suffered a catastrophic brain injury which was unsurvivable. The decision was made to withdraw his life support and he passed away on April 2, 2019.

The boy’s father denies assaulting Martynas in any way and at any time.

Haroldas Bugaila, 29, a factory worker, of Granville Street, Boston, denies the murder of Martynas Bugaila on April 2, 2019 and denies causing grievous bodily harm to him between February 5 and March 15, 2019. He also denies further charges of inflicting grievous bodily harm with intent and inflicting grievous bodily harm to another person.

The trial continues.

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