Father accused of shaking 11 day old son to death in Chiswick

The court at the Old Bailey has heard a father being accused of shaking his baby son to death in Chiswick last year. Victor Dafonte, a hotel porter aged 33, was looking after 11 day old Edson for his estranged wife Djamilla Correreia at her home on Barrowgate Road when she went out to register the birth. When she returned she found the baby to be seriously ill. The baby was rushed to hospital where doctors discovered damage so severe that he would never have fully recovered.

Edson lived for nine months but suffered epileptic fits and was never developed normally. Dafonte was arrested and charged with grevious bodily harm but after the baby's death was rearrested and charged with murder.

Orlando Pownell QC, prosecuting, reportedly said: "He shook the baby so hard that he caused severe injuries to the child's brain." He added that the doctors and nurses who treated Edson felt that the injuries sustained were inconsistent with the father's account. The jury was also told that the baby was also bitten at the time of the attack. Expert testimony was given which showed that the bite marks were an exact match of those of Dafonte's teeth.

Dafonte denies murder and claimed that his son had fallen to the floor while he was asleep on his shoulder. The trial continues at the Old Bailey.

January 9, 2003

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