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Toddler had signs her breathing had been disrupted. court told
12:20pm Sunday 27th May 2012 in News
A toddler found dead in her bed had injuries to her face which indicated her breathing had been disrupted, a court was told.
Lucy Dunford, three, had signs of petechial haemorrhage – a red or purple rash – on her upper face and lining of the eyes, which is typical of asphyxia due to the disruption of the normal mechanics of breathing, a jury at Lewes Crown Court was told yesterday.
The toddler’s mother, Lesley Dunford, 33, is accused of murdering Lucy at the family home in Pelwood Road, Camber, near Rye, on February 2, 2004.
Nathaniel Carey, a Home Office forensic pathologist, who is an expert in constraintrelated deaths, said Lucy also had bruising around her nose, which was consistent with it being pinched on either side, and fingernail marks on her neck.
Dunford claims her daughter was fine when she put her to bed at 2pm but when she checked on her an hour later she had stopped breathing.
Post-mortem examinations showed the child had injuries to her body consistent with being smothered.
Dr Carey said: “Sneezing or violent coughing, such as whooping cough, may be able to produce scattered petechial haemorrhage, but it would have to be very long, sustained, day after day coughing and coughing and coughing.”
Dunford, of Rydal Mews, Windermere Close, Exeter, denies murder.
The trial continues.