Midhurst dad accused of baby’s manslaughter – “He meant the world to me.”

Christopher Barnes denies manslaughter and grievous bodily harm
Christopher Barnes denies manslaughter and grievous bodily harm

A dad accused of shaking his 10 week old baby son said he ‘never hurt that little boy’.

Tiny Harry Barnes suffered brain damage and later died on June 25, 2017 after what prosecutors say was two episodes of shaking.

Barnes is standing trial at Lewes Crown Court

Barnes is standing trial at Lewes Crown Court

Christopher Barnes, 28, of Barlavington Way, Midhurst, is charged with manslaughter and causing grievous bodily harm to Harry. He denies the offences.

Speaking at his trial this afternoon, Barnes told Lewes Crown Court: “Most of the time I spend with him when I got home from work was when he was crying.”

Prosecutor Jennifer Knight asked him: “Isn’t the reality of it that you know perfectly well that you are responsible for what happened to Harry?”

Barnes said: “I am not responsible for what happened to Harry.”

Miss Knight said: “You are not brave enough to admit what you did to Harry, are you?”

Barnes replied: “It wasn’t me. I never hurt that little boy. He meant the world to me.

“I did what I thought was best for Harry which was that I swayed and comforted him.”

He was asked if Harry was showing signs of being unwell after Barnes arrived at home on the morning of Saturday, June 24.

Barnes said: “I didn’t really take much notice of what he was doing because he was crying.”

The court heard that after Harry had been shaken – if he had still been conscious – he would have been ‘dropping into unconsciousness with interrupted breathing that was in the process of stopping his heart’.

During her opening last week prosecutor Jennifer Knight said: “The medical evidence revealed that Harry Barnes’ injuries had been caused during at least two episodes of injury, one around the time of his collapse and another several days earlier.

“It is the crown’s case that this defendant Christopher Barnes, Harry Barnes’ father, who was alone with him at the time of his collapse is responsible for his death and also for the injuries that had been caused to him.”

Following today's evidence the prosecution and defence have both finished their cases.

The trial will now move to closing speeches and the judge's summing up, before the jury retires to consider its verdict.

The trial continues