July 13, 2021 4.16 pm This story is over 34 months old

“High magnitude” of force caused fatal injuries to 11-week-old boy, murder trial hears

Severe brain injuries caused the baby’s death

A high level of force would have been required to cause serious brain injuries to an 11-week-old baby boy alleged to have been murdered by his father, a jury was told on Tuesday.

Prof Safa Al-Sarraj, a consultant neuropathologist, told the jury at Lincoln Crown Court that baby Martynas Bugaila had suffered severe brain injuries.

Prof Al-Sarraj said: “The damage to the brain itself was the cause of death.”

He said the injuries to Martynas were consistent with “excessive and violent” movement of his brain.

“Forwards and backwards movement similar to this is described in shaking.”

He said some of the injuries would have required a “high magnitude” of force to cause them.

“It is my opinion that the most recent injuries are most likely to have been caused at the time of Martynas’ collapse.”

Police at the scene of the incident in 2019. | Photo: John Aron

The jury has heard that Martynas was also found to have older brain injuries also alleged to have been inflicted by his father Haroldas Bugaila.

Prof Al-Sarraj was asked about the degree of force used to cause the older injuries. He replied: “These injuries were not fatal, but must have been caused by more than normal handling of the child or rough handling of the child.”

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 Boston 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 has denied 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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