Islington parents accused of shaking baby son to death

A young mother and father accused of shaking their four-month-old baby to death are standing trial.

Mother Chana Al-Alas, 19, and father Rohan Wray, 22, who lived on the Barnsbury Estate off Copenhagen Street, Islington, are said to have caused severe brain damage to Jayden Wray, leaving him “incompatible with life.”

The Old Bailey heard on Tuesday that the baby was admitted to University College Hospital late during the morning of July 22 2009 with a series of injuries. By 8pm his condition had deteriorated further and he was transferred to the paediatric intensive care unit at Great Ormond Street.

Despite efforts to treat him, prosecutor Sally Howes QC said that by July 24 “he was considered to be so severely brain damaged that his condition was incompatible with life.” Life support was withdrawn and he died on July 25.

She continued: “Clinical investigation into the cause of his collapse revealed a number of injuries, some recent injuries and others pre-dating his admission to hospital by quite some time. These injuries suggested to the doctors treating him that Jayden had sustained them as a result of either a shaking or a shaking-impact assault.”


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Ms Howes said tests revealed widespread haemorrhages in both retinas, a number of fractures including one to the skull and subdural haemorrhages on both sides of the brain.

She said Mr Wray told a paediatrician that his son, who was born on March 7 that year, had been well the night before but that Miss Al-Alas found his tongue stuck to the roof of his mouth when she went to feed him the following morning.

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Miss Al-Alas and Mr Wray, who were 16 and 19 respectively when Jayden was born, deny murder and alternative charges of causing or allowing his death. The trial continues.

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