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Extreme pain before roadhouse baby died: trial
'Extreme pain' before roadhouse baby died: trial

A 10-month-old baby had injuries from his head to his feet, including burns covering his body which would have caused extreme pain, before he was rushed lifeless into a remote WA roadhouse, a Supreme Court murder trial has been told this morning.

Opening the State case against Mervyn Kenneth Douglas Bell, prosecutor Amanda Forrester said the exact cause of the baby boy's death could not be determined, but he had a broken arm and leg and burns on his feet, legs and body.

The boy also had severe injuries to his genitals and anus.

Mr Bell has pleaded not guilty to murdering and sexually assaulting the baby after taking him from Broome on March 19, 2013.

He is accused of intending to kill the baby and inflicting injuries on the child over a 15-hour period before he sped into the Fortescue River Road House with the boy's lifeless body in his arms.

Ms Forrester said it was possible that the baby died as a result of the sheer magnitude of the injuries which were inflicted on him, which would have caused great pain and inevitable shock.

"He would have been unable to move except in great pain," Ms Forrester told the court.

She said a 10-month-old child would have screamed until he could no longer do so when some of the burns were inflicted.

Ms Forrester told Justice John McKechnie that the burns established an intentional and sustained period of injury.

"Quite literally, he had injuries from his head to his feet," she said.

Ms Forrester said it was also possible that some other act had caused the baby to stop breathing, but Mr Bell's explanation to police was "incapable of belief".

She said Mr Bell, whose lawyer did not deliver an opening statement in the judge-alone trial, had told police that the baby had fallen from the car and fallen into the Fortescue River.

Ms Forrester said Mr Bell had lied to police and shown a complete lack of candour, but "emphatically denied" killing the baby.

She said the baby had been a healthy, vibrant child when he was taken from Broome by Mr Bell and there was no possibility his injuries had been caused inadvertently or in a series of accidents.

The trial continues.

The West Australian

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