Auckland parents on trial after daughter suffers fractured ribs, bleeding brain

A jury is deliberating whether Auckland parents ill-treated their child after their 8-week-old daughter suffered fractured ribs and a bleeding brain.

India nationals Sandeep Kumar and Ritika, who only goes by one name, are nearing the end of a three-week trial at Auckland District Court for ill treatment and neglect of their infant in their Mt Wellington home in November 2018.

They each face two charges of ill treatment and neglect of a child, and the woman faces separate charges of wounding and injuring with reckless disregard.

The baby’s ribs were fractured on or before November 2, the jury heard, and the Crown alleges she suffered a subdural haematoma on November 7.

Ritika inflicted injuries that led to the haematoma while Kumar was not home, it argues.

It was her daughter’s first Diwali day and “things had not gone her way”, the Crown claims.

Both are accused of knowing about the injuries and failing to take their daughter to the hospital immediately.

One witness told the jury they heard the pair arguing, a man was yelling and a woman screaming.

Defence said the argument happened after Kumar arrived home on November 7.

Both parents love their child and want her back, said the defence.

Four specialists who gave evidence claim the injuries were a result of non-accidental trauma, said Judge Aitken.

Kumar and Ritika gave evidence during the three-week trial and deny the charges.

Kumar told the jury there was nothing to alert him or injuries to cause him concern, and when he was concerned the next day, he took his daughter to a GP. She eventually was treated at Starship Hospital.

Ritika did not know her baby was injured and genuinely wanted to know how it happened by asking for follow-up tests, the defence argues.

The couple sat silently in the dock, separated by an interpreter.

There is no dispute over the child’s injuries, but there is no direct evidence to show how the injuries were caused.

The jury has retired to deliberate.

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