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Tragic tot didn't fall, accused told nurse

A MAN accused of shaking his ex-fiancee's baby to death denied the child could have fallen out of his bouncer or banged his head off a table when he was questioned by nurses, a murder trial has heard.

Philip Doyle (34) told nurses at Wexford General Hospital that he left baby Ross Murphy lying on a blanket in the sitting room and when he came back into the room he found him "like this".

This was a reference to the condition of baby Ross in the ambulance and in hospital, as he was lifeless and lying on his back.

Doyle, of Tinakilly, Aughrim, Co Wicklow, has pleaded not guilty to the murder of baby Ross Murphy.

The court heard Doyle later made a statement to gardai saying he tripped on a mat in the sitting room of their home at Creagh Demesne in Gorey and both he and the child fell to the floor.

This possibility was put by prosecution counsel Tom O'Connell to State pathologist Professor Marie Cassidy, but she told the Central Criminal Court she did not believe the baby's injuries were consistent with a fall on to a timber floor.

Prof Cassidy said baby Ross had multiple sites of trauma which were not representative of a single incident.

She said the injuries were consistent with shaking the infant.

In her evidence, paediatric nurse Olive Cosgrave said she spoke to Doyle and the child's mother Leona Murphy when the baby was rushed by ambulance to Wexford Hospital on the evening of April 3, 2005.

Ms Cosgrave said she asked Doyle if it was possible the child had fallen out of his bouncer or had banged his head off a coffee table. She said Doyle denied this could have happened.

The trial continues.