LENGTHY INVESTIGATION: Detective Senior Sergeant Paul Elliott says police investigations into a child’s death lasted more than two years.
LENGTHY INVESTIGATION: Detective Senior Sergeant Paul Elliott says police investigations into a child’s death lasted more than two years. Chris Ison Rokcpolice

Young baby suffered terrible violence for weeks before death

HORRIFIC details of the death of baby Lattrell Dodd at the tender age of 11 weeks reveal he suffered terrible violence in the last four weeks of his short life, a court heard yesterday.

The Gladstone Magistrtes Court heard the Rockhampton baby's brain injuries and bleeding were consistent with being violently shaken.

Medical details were read out in court by prosecutor Sgt Barry Stevens when opposing a bail application by Lattrell's mother Megan Freeman, 22, who is charged with child cruelty.

The West Gladstone resident was later given bail but she sat quietly in court, at times wiping away tears, as Sgt Stevens detailed Lattrell's trauma and injuries including seven skull fractures, over a dozen broken ribs, two broken collarbones and broken femur. He had also been very undernourished.

Sgt Stevens said police had evidence Lattrell was violently shaken the night before an ambulance was called to the family's Koongal home, on May 23, 2013.

He said injuries to Lattrell were very obvious to see and ambulance paramedics called police.

The ill baby was flown to the Mater Hospital in Brisbane where he died on May 31.

Christopher Allan Holland, 31, the partner of Freeman, did not make a bail application but appeared in the dock before magistrate Mark Morrow charged with the manslaughter of Lattrell Dodd in May 2013; and child cruelty.

"He thought he was the father but he is not," Sgt Stevens said.

Sgt Stevens said Holland was heard to swear and growl at the baby saying shut up, then seen to shake him violently, "his head to go in all directions".

Sgt Stevens said Freeman denied knowledge of any broken bones but knew about a lump to Lattrell's forehead, saying it was the result of another child being in the cot. Sgt Stevens said the mother has a cannabis problem, a history of drug and property offences, and police would allege Holland sought to influence her and other witnesses, including making up reasons for the baby's injuries, told to blame a five-year-old girl.

Both cases were adjourned to appear in Rockhampton Magistrates Court on December 17.

While the pair faced court in Gladstone, Officer in Charge of the Rockhampton Child Protection and Investigation Unit Detective Senior Sergeant Paul Elliot said police had been investigating the infant boy's death since May 23, 2013 .

"It was a very big investigation, it was very lengthy," Det Snr Sgt Elliot said.



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