Saturday 26 May 2018

Most common cause of accidental death in babies is choking - murder trial hears

John Tighe denies murdering his six-month-old baby son. Photo: Collins Courts
John Tighe denies murdering his six-month-old baby son. Photo: Collins Courts

Eoin Reynolds

A medical expert has told the trial of a father accused of murdering his infant son by putting a wad of tissue in his throat, that the most common cause of accidental death in babies is choking.

Paediatrician Dr Hilary Stokes is being cross examined today in the trial of 40-year-old John Tighe of Lavallyroe, Ballyhaunis, Co Mayo who has pleaded not guilty to murdering six-month-old Joshua Sussbier Tighe at his home on June 1, 2013. He is on trial at the Central Criminal Court.

Yesterday, she told prosecuting counsel Paul Murray SC that she did not believe it would be possible for baby Joshua to form, chew or swallow the wad of tissue that was removed from the child's throat by a pathologist.

This morning Dr Stokes agreed with defence counsel Mícheál P O'Higgins SC that the most common cause of accidental death in babies aged under one year is choking.

The trial continues this afternoon in front of Justice Patrick McCarthy and a jury of nine women and three men.

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