JURY RETIRES: A verdict is expected today.
JURY RETIRES: A verdict is expected today. John Weekes

UPDATE: Hung jury in child assault trial

A JURY was not able to reach a verdict in a child assault trial after the facts had been heard over three days.

It was alleged a Bundaberg man intentionally assaulted his girlfriend's two-year-old son at their Bargara home.

The man appeared at the Bundaberg District Court on a charge of assault occasioning bodily harm towards the child.

Crown prosecutor Carla Ahern opened the trial on Monday by telling the 12 jurors that on August 6, 2016, the little boy was in the care of his mother's partner when he became severely injured.

The court heard at some point between the boy's mother leaving for work that morning and about noon, he sustained severe bruising and abrasions to his head, face, neck and shoulders.

The accused said he had been playing and chasing after the boy when he picked him up and spun him upside down, however as he was bringing him to an upright position, misjudged the distance between the boy and a doorway.

He said the boy's face came into contact with the door jamb, and upon contact, let go of the boy. The child landed face down on the tiles.

The accused then phoned the boy's grandmother in a panic, and when she arrived some five minutes later she discovered her grandson lying on the couch covered in bruises.

The grandmother took the boy to the Bundaberg Hospital where he was assessed by doctor Carolyn Ng.

Doctor Ng said the severe bruising was not consistent with the alleged circumstances, but as a witness would not speculate as to what the bruises could have been caused by.

Another doctor also appeared by videolink however at no stage had direct contact with the boy. Both doctors said the alleged incident would have left just two points of contact, but the boy's bruises amounted to more than that.

The boy's mother said when she left her son that morning he already had a bruised left eye, a bump on his head and possibly a scratch on his neck from when he crashed his bicycle in days prior.

She also said her son was a "very full on child" and was "always running into walls".

The court heard the accused was pacing and crying after the incident, which Ms Ahern said was a sign of guilt. But Defence barrister Simone Bain suggested that it would be more suspicious if he wasn't upset.

Ms Bain told the jury it was not a matter of whether the boy sustained injuries amounting to bodily harm, but whether the defendant had committed the acts willfully and with intent.

She said her client was not denying responsibility of the injuries, but that it was simply an accident.

At 5pm yesterday the jury informed the court they were unable to reach a unanimous decision. Prosecution indicated it would seek the retrial of the defendant later in the year.

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