Tears in court as murder trial is told a Christchurch toddler suffered 59 injuries before his death


A Christchurch murder trial has heard how a baby boy was found "lying on his back ... struggling to breathe" shortly before he died.

The jury was told the accused Troy Taylor inflicted 59 injuries on the 15-month-oled leading to his death in July 2015.
Source: 1 NEWS

The High Court trial of the man accused of murdering 15-month-old baby boy Ihaka Stokes is now underway in Christchurch.

Troy Kevin Taylor, 23, faces two charges, one for the murder of Ihaka Stokes on July 3 2015. He denies he caused the boy any harm.

The Crown says Taylor inflicted 59 separate injuries to Ihaka on two separate occasions that led to his death in July 2015.

Ihaka had multiple blunt force injuries, including a broken jaw and both of his scapular were fractured. 

Ihaka Stokes

Ihaka Stokes.

Source: 1 NEWS

As the list of injuries were read to the court, members of the full public gallery could be heard crying quietly.

Crown prosecutor Courtney Martyn says the injuries were sustained at his Christchurch home, where Ihaka lived with his mother Mikala Stokes, and the defendent, her partner.

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The Crown says the defendant had woken Ihaka's mother on the night of his death and said something was wrong with him.

"She found him lying on his back in his cot, struggling to breathe, he was blue at the lips, and she rang 111."

The defendant performed CPR, and the child was rushed to hospital but died just an hour later.

The defendant told police he had heard bangs the previous night, and on the night Ihaka died and believed he had fallen in his cot.

However, the Crown says the injuries were not accidental, and that Taylor assaulted Ihaka on the Thursday night and again on the Friday night.

Courtney Martyn told the jury: "The Crown says the nature and number of injuries are completely inconsistent with any fall in a cot, which is why Mr Taylor is here today on trial".

The Crown maintains that he was suffering sleep deprivation and headaches due to a concussion and that he "lost it", causing Ihaka's death.


Defence Lawyer Phil Shamy said "there is no dispute that Ihaka died of non-accidental injuries, the key issue in this trial is who did kill Ihaka Stokes and on that Friday there were two people in that house".

"Mr Taylor and Ms Stokes, but for about three hours it was only Ms Stokes."

Mr Shamy told the jury she was heavily pregnant and tired, and just because Mr Taylor had concussion, that doesn’t make him a murderer.

"Was it Ms Stokes, or was it Mr Taylor? The case you have to decide is has the Crown proven beyond a reasonable doubt that it was Mr Taylor, was Mr Taylor responsible?"

The trial has adjourned until tomorrow, when Ms Stokes, Ihaka's mother will take the stand as the first of 36 witnesses.


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