Two nurses today fought back tears as they described the horror injuries a baby girl had suffered after the tot was allegedly brutally assaulted by her mum’s friend.
Staff nurse Elspeth Brown, a registered midwife, struggled to contain her emotions as she told Dundee Sheriff Court how blood inside the child’s left ear had signalled a “red flag.”
Miss Brown was giving evidence at the trial of Thomas Dunn, who is accused of assaulting the 13-month-old baby, placing her in a tumble dryer and turning it on, as well as two more charges of assaulting the child.
She said her first impressions on examining the child at the unit on January 8, 2018, was that “something was far wrong” with her.
She said: “She was a floppy child, unresponsive, totally flat, her head was down, you wouldn’t expect that of a one-year-old child.
“There was blood in her ear canal.
“That signifies something serious going on, it’s a red flag.”
Asked by fiscal depute Nicola Gillespie if it was an emergency, she replied: “Yes, I thought it was and so did the A&E consultant when I spoke to him on the telephone. She wasn’t in a good condition.”
In her report from that day, she said Dunn had told her the baby had fallen and hurt herself and had cried immediately but was OK.
He said he put her in a soft play room and went to make tea, and when he returned she was “all floppy”.
He said he tried to sit her up and had tried to contact her mother but hadn’t been able to so he had brought her up to Arbroath Infirmary.
Fellow nurse Erin Smith told the court the baby had been “floppy and pale”, and said she was “drowsy” and “quite sick.”
Miss Smith also struggled to control her emotions as she told the jury the child had been bleeding at the ear and she and Staff Nurse Brown were worried about her condition.
It alleged that on various occasions between April 3, 2015 and January 8, 2018 Dunn assaulted a boy at a house in Arbroath, from birth to the age of 33 months, by pinching his nose and restricting his breathing.
Then, on an occasion between December 18, 2017 and January 8 2018, at the same address, it is alleged that he assaulted the girl, then aged 13 months.
Prosecutors allege that he placed the tot in a tumble dryer and closed the door, causing the machine to activate and the inner drum to rotate to the girl’s severe injury and the danger of her life.
A third charge alleges that between those dates Dunn assaulted the same girl by placing his hand over her mouth and restricting her breathing.
He is finally alleged to have again assaulted the girl to her severe injury and the danger of her life on January 8 2018.
Dunn, 25, of Comrie Crescent in Hamilton, is said to have repeatedly struck her on the head and body, repeatedly struck her against an unknown object or objects and bit her on the arm.
The trial, before Sheriff Alastair Brown and a jury, continues.