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Two doctors saw bruises on baby Ross, trial hears

TWO paediatricians have described the injuries found on a baby who was allegedly shaken by his mother's partner before his death.

Doctors noticed several bruises on Ross Murphy's thorax, haemorrhages in the eye and leaking of blood under skin.

Philip Doyle (34), of Tinakilly, Aughrim, Co Wicklow, has pleaded not guilty at the Central Criminal Court to murdering three-and-a-half-month-old Ross Murphy at Gorey, Co Wexford on April 5, 2005.

Leona Murphy (28), who is now expecting her third child, previously told the court that on April 3 she went out to get a DVD, leaving her baby alone with her ex-fiance.


The court heard the baby had been taken to Wexford General Hospital on March 31, 2005 because he was 'lifeless' and getting sick on the bed. He was kept in for observation because of a rash on his neck and released on Sunday April 3.

He returned to the hospital that evening in cardiac arrest and was rushed to Our Lady's Children's Hospital Crumlin in the early hours of the next morning but died the next day.

Consultant paediatrician Dr Clodagh O'Gorman told the court she saw Ross Murphy on April 4, 2005 at Our Lady's Children's Hospital Crumlin.

Dr O'Gorman said she had a discussion about what happened to the baby with Doyle, who said the baby had started to shake his head before vomiting. She said she found bruises on the right ear and haemorrhages in the eye.

Dr O'Gorman said she also noted several bruises on the child's thorax and several bruises on the lower back.

Under cross-examination she told Giollaiosa O Lideadha, defending, the baby was in severe difficulty when he went into hospital and was alive because he had been ventilated.

Consultant paediatrician Dr John Carson saw Ross Murphy at Wexford General Hospital.

He said when he spoke to Ms Murphy and Doyle he was told the baby had been turning his head in his bouncer.

Dr Carson said he was told that the child had coughed and vomited but continued playing and kicking his legs.

Doyle told him he put his hand on the baby's forehead and gave him mouth-to-mouth.

Dr Carson said the baby's heart stopped at 11pm but was revived again and he was stabilised up to the time of his transfer to Crumlin.

Dr Carson said the child had a pulse but was not responding to stimuli and he was determined brain dead at 7.45pm.

He said there was a bruise at the top of the right ear, bruises over the lower right chest and upper right abdomen and a small bleed in the left eye.

The trial has already heard that Doyle originally gave an account of the baby shaking his head from side to side.


But in a statement to gardai on April 27, 2005 the accused said that he tripped on the corner of a mat and fell on a timber floor with the child in his arms.

State Pathologist Prof Marie Cassidy previously told the court she concluded the baby died from brain trauma.

Prof Cassidy said such trauma would not be expected to occur in a not-yet-mobile child and there was deep bruising consistent with the trunk being firmly gripped and that haemorrhages inside the eyes "highly suggested a shaking incident."

The trial continues.