Kemarni Watson Darby: Signs of abuse ‘must have been visible hours before his death’

A nurse at a Black Country walk-in centre diagnosed the tot with a stomach bug just hours before he suffered the fatal blows, allegedly inflicted by his strict mum and her partner, which “ultimately killed him”

Kemarni Watson Darby, three, was seen at a Black Country walk-in-centre just hours before he beaten to death
Kemarni Watson Darby, three, was seen at a Black Country walk-in-centre just hours before he beaten to death

Bruising and signs of abuse must have been visible when a medic saw a toddler hours before the fatal blows that caused his tragic death, a court has heard.

Kemarni Watson Darby, three, was checked over by a nurse at a Black Country walk-in-centre just a few hours before he was allegedly battered to death by his mum and her lover.

Prosecutors say the three-year-old’s mum and her boyfriend inflicted the fatal blows, which have been likened to the severity of injuries usually seen in fatal car collisions, Birmingham Live reports.

Forensic pathologist Dr Alexander Kolar told jurors yesterday that some of little Kemarni’s bruises were from “up to four weeks prior to his death”.

Giving evidence at Birmingham Crown Court yesterday, Dr Kolar said bruising must have been visible when the tot was checked over by hospital staff on the day of his murder.

Dr Kolar said: “Theoretically all the abdomen bruising may have been present at that time, but it may not have been.

“Some of the injuries must have been present.”

A toddler allegedly murdered at the hands of his ‘cruel’ mother and her boyfriend suffered ‘horrendous’ injuries similar to those caused by a car crash, a court has heard

Prosecutors have argued it was internal injuries to the little one’s mesentery – a part of the body supplying blood to the intestine – which caused a “massive internal bleed” that “ultimately killed him”.

Dr Kolar said he couldn’t be sure if the fatal damage was inflicted before or after the appointment.

He added that the most significant of all Kemarni’s injuries were to his right abdomen, right arm and to the lower part of his face close to his mouth.

The jury heard how bruising at the top of Kemarni’s scalp was ‘quite unusual’ as it’s an unlikely area to have an accidental injury.

The worst injuries were on his abdomen, the court heard

The court heard that there was also fresh bruising which was not ‘many days old’ as well as ‘clear evidence of older internal injuries’ to the tot’s abdomen.

Signs of injuries consistent with gripping were also discovered on the boy’s abdomen and arm, jurors heard.

The pathologist went on to tell the court he had recorded the youngster’s medical cause of death as abdominal injuries.

He said: “This is a child with extremely severe injuries to his abdomen. They are indicative of extremely severe force being applied to that abdomen.

A nurse diagnosed the youngster with a tummy bug

Kemarni Watson Darby was abused before his death, the court was told

“Kemarni had widespread, significant blunt-force injuries to his abdomen.

“It’s actually very difficult to bruise the abdomen. If you’re seeing bruising to the abdominal skin to this extent, it’s indicative of very, very significant force being applied to the abdominal wall.”

The witness added: “It’s simply not possible for a child to cause these injuries to themselves. A third party has caused these injuries.”

Prosecutors say three-year-old Kemarni suffered a ‘vicious forceful assault’ at the family’s West Bromwich home, splitting his abdomen and causing a ‘massive’ internal bleed which killed him on June 5, 2018.

His mother Alicia Watson, 30, of Radnor Road, Handsworth and her boyfriend Nathaniel Pope, 31, of Evans Street, Wolverhampton, both deny murder and multiple charges of child cruelty.

They are alleged to have subjected the boy to repeated ‘extremely painful’ assaults in the months before his death.

Prosecutor Tony Badenoch QC asked Dr Kolar: “Is it your opinion that there was at least one blow?”

Dr Kolar replied: “Yes, there is at least one blow but given the widespread distribution of injuries, I’m very suspicious there has been more than one blow.”

He added: “You cannot cause these injuries by gripping. There must have been impact and impact of very significant force.”

Previously, jurors heard how Kemarni was rushed in for assessment after vomiting while he waited with his mother for an appointment at Parsonage Street walk-in centre, in West Bromwich.

But the nurse said she spotted ‘nothing out of the ordinary’ after examining the toddler and prescribed him medication for dehydration, believing he was battling a viral bug.

Hours later, the toddler was discovered ‘lifeless’ at his West Bromwich home, the jury was told.

The trial continues.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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