A NINE-day-old baby who “literally had her life shaken” suffered catastrophic and ultimately fatal injuries at the hands of her own parents, a jury said.
Ava Grace Nolan was only home a few days before being rushed to Royal Blackburn Hospital with fatal brain damage.
Preston Crown Court learned that midwives made several attempts to visit mum Sophie Nash and the baby in the days leading up to her death and that the police had to be called to carry out a welfare check.
Nash and his partner Daniel Nolan, Ava’s father, stand accused of causing or authorizing the child’s injury and causing or allowing his death.
On the opening day of their trial, Mr David McLachlan QC said baby Ava suffered a fractured femur and brain injury in the days leading up to a second fatal head injury.
The jury was told of the sometimes “volatile” and “toxic” relationship between Nash, 31, and Nolan, 30, and a history of mental and physical issues the couple had struggled with.
“This is the case with the prosecution that the defendants – Ava’s father and mother – were responsible for the injuries she suffered during her short life and that they are also responsible for the negligence she suffered. was a victim, ”McLachlan said.
“We are telling you very clearly that we cannot say who actually did what.
“We cannot say which Nash or Nolan inflicted the injuries in this case, but the prosecution said he was one of them and could not have been anyone from ‘other.”
The jury heard how Nolan, of Manchester, and Nash, of Winchester, had a whirlwind romance after meeting on a dating app in 2016, with the couple moving in together in Middleton, when Nash got pregnant.
The couple’s first child was born and soon after, Nash was pregnant again, this time with Ava.
At this point, the couple decided they wanted to make a “fresh start” and moved to Nelson. However, during this time, they experienced several arguments and difficulties.
When born on August 8, 2017, Ava was what you would expect from a “fit and healthy” newborn baby, the prosecutor said. She was examined by doctors, nurses and midwives before going out after three days.
It was heard one day after arriving home that Nash and Nolan threw a party and the couple’s friends and family attended. On that date, a midwife went to see the young family, but there was no response at the door.
At one point this afternoon, police were also called after an altercation between Nolan – who was holding a frying pan – and his neighbor.
The midwives then visited the house on the 12th, 13th and 14th and the entry failed on each of these occasions.
Mr. McLachlan QC went on to say that on the 15th another midwife attempted to call the couple. He said: “She received no response and left a message expressing her concern. She said in plain language that if midwives were not allowed access, the case would be referred to the police for a welfare visit. ”
Soon after this contact was made and the midwife was able to perform a full postnatal exam – leaving the content that Ava was happy and healthy, noting only that she had a slight yellow tint around her. , which could have indicated jaundice.
Mr McLachlan added: “The prosecution case is that shortly after this visit, Ava suffered her first brain injury as well as a fractured femur.
“In reality, the next day was to be the last day of Ava’s life.”
On the 15th, shortly after 5 p.m., a police officer carried out a welfare check at the address contacted by concerned midwives and, once again, everything seemed to be fine, although it was noted that baby Ava was complaining.
Later that night, Nolan called the Burnley Birthing Center to tell them that Ava was not feeling well and that her “breathing was not correct”. The midwife on the phone told Nolan to call an ambulance.
Paramedics reached an unresponsive baby Ava within moments, who then stopped breathing.
Attempts were made both in the ambulance and later in the hospital to resuscitate her, but without success. The nine-day-old was pronounced dead shortly after midnight on August 16.
A post-mortem examination revealed two injuries to Ava’s brain, bruises on her body and a fractured femur.
Medical experts concluded that the bleeding in his brain was most likely caused by tremors.
Mr McLachlan added: “The prosecution says it is on them and that they are responsible for his death.”
He added: “Under their watch, Ava Grace Nolan suffered serious, non-accidental traumatic injuries.
“At least one of them caused the injuries and the other knew it.
“The last injury was to cause death when his life was literally shaken. She really wasn’t very lucky.
The trial continues.