Mum accused of seriously injuring son 'showed no emotion as doctors fought to save his life and told nurse it was because she watched Holby City'

Parents Elizabeth Wilkins and Erick Vanselow watched as medics drilled into the tot's bone with a nurse telling the court the mum's calmness was "not normal".

Paramedics had rushed to the couple's home to find the baby fighting for life after suffering from a fractured skull, bleeding on the brain and broken ribs after an incident on September 22, 2016.

But Plymouth Crown Court heard Elizabeth Wilkins was "very calm" when an ambulance arrived with the tot at A&E.

Sister Sophie Brock, nurse in charge of the section of the A&E department which admitted the boy, said staff struggled to find a vein to insert an intravenous drip into the child and so had to drill into the bone marrow.

She added that it was not fair for a parent to stay and so Wilkins was asked to step outside.

Mrs Brock said: "Her reply was that she watched Holby and 24 Hours in A&E, which was a little bit of a strange thing to say."

She added that the procedure was "distressing to watch".

Piers Norsworthy, for Wilkins, asked the witness: "When you are presented with a very sick baby, one imagines the worst thing you could see is a panicky, distracting mother?"

Mrs Brock replied: "It does not help but it is normal and we are able to deal with that."

The pair deny the charges.

The court heard Vanselow told hospital staff he had dropped the baby so the infant had hit the left side of his head against a plastic kitchen counter during a feed at 4am that morning.

The child spent several months in hospital and, now just over two-years-old, may have developmental problems, the court was told.

An ambulance paramedic had earlier told the court that the father had said he dropped the boy about a foot.

The Crown Prosecution Service alleged that neither the child's head injuries or the rib fractures could have been caused accidentally.

Jo Martin, QC, said that the was assaulted by either mum, dad or both parents on several occasions two years ago at the former couple's home in Plymouth, Devon.

They have both been named after a judge lifted a court order.

The court has heard the boy was taken to Derriford Hospital in Plymouth, 17 days before his admission, with bloodshot eyes.

Vanselow and Wilkins have each denied individual counts of assaulting the baby with intent to cause grievous bodily harm on September 22, 2016.

They have also pleaded not guilty to alternative counts of assaulting him causing grievous bodily harm without intent. These charges relate to the head injuries.

The parents have also denied causing or allowing a child to suffer serious physical harm to a child between his birth on July 2 and September 23 that year.

Wilkins alone has pleaded not guilty to assaulting the baby causing actual bodily harm between August 31 and September 3. This charge relates to the bloodshot eyes.

Prosecutors say that those injuries could not have been caused by dad because he was out of town at the time.

The trial, due to last at least another two weeks, continues.

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