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Questions have been raised over the death of a five-month-old baby who passed away in Alice Springs in 2012 due to a "traumatic head injury".
Michael Smedley reportedly sustained the injury while in the care of his 16-year-old mother’s friends, Oliver Deighton and Tamara Cole.
When his mother returned to collect him, the baby was found limp and not breathing. Paramedics were called and performed CPR and he was rushed to hospital but he was pronounced dead that same day.
During the inquest into Michael’s death, Northern Territory coroner Greg Cavanagh found that his injuries are consistent with being “shaken vigorously” and also noted that he had severe bruising as well as anal injuries with blood found in his nappy, reports News.com.au.
The inquest also heard from a forensic scientist who identified sperm on the child’s anus, but says the sample deteriorated and was not able to be tested for DNA.
Deighton, who was questioned but never charged by police at the time of Michael’s death, changed his initial statement claiming he caught Michael as he wriggled off a change table, reports News.com.au.
Deighton however refused to answer a number of questions at the inquest on grounds it may incriminate him in the death, reports Courier Mail.
“(The fall and catch) would be too brief and the kind of acceleration/deceleration force over that very short period of a fall, wouldn’t have been enough to produce these changes,” Forensic neuropathologist Dr Tony Tannenberg.
The case has now been referred back to police and an investigation recommenced. No charges have yet been laid.