Lawyers for a man accused of raping and killing a ten-month old baby boy have suggested the catalogue of injuries found on the infant may have been caused when he fell out of a car being driven through a roundabout at 60km/h.
Mervyn Bell, 27, is accused of taking the 10-month-old boy from his home in Broome, sexually assaulting and killing him during a 15-hour trip that ended at the Fortescue River Roadhouse in March.
Confronting photographs of the catalogue of injuries inflicted on the baby boy were shown in court - while the man accused of inflicting them refused to look.
The judge alone trial was shown dozens of photographs of the injuries to every part of the baby boy, including numerous burns, bruises, scratches and two broken limbs.
It needed 120 photographs to capture all the injuries, which also included an abrasion almost the entire length of the boy’s right leg, a burn covering both buttocks, burns to the tips of his fingers and bruises all over his face.
As pathologist Dr Clive Cooke detailed the injuries, Mr Bell stared impassively at the floor, while the boy’s family struggled to contain their emotions in the public gallery.
And then in cross-examination, Mr Bell’s counsel John Myers asked Dr Cooke whether similar injuries could have been caused if the baby had fallen out of a moving car.
Dr Cooke said he could not definitively answer – saying variables including the road surface, how the person had landed and which part of the person had hit the road first would affect the injuries suffered.
After carrying the lifeless child into the roadhouse, Mr Bell claimed the baby had fallen from the car, and had also fallen into the Fortescue River.
The trial continues.