An eight-week-old baby was violently shaken in the moments before she died, a murder trial heard.

Holly Roe was born two months prematurely.

She suffered two previous brain injuries before the fatal shaking, the court heard, and her ribs were broken in 12 places.

Her mother Tiffany Tate, 22, and father Michael Roe, 33, are both accused of murder.

A jury has been told they must decide which one of her parents shook their baby to death.

Consultant neuropathologist at King’s College Hospital Professor Safa Al-Sarraj said there was no other explanation for how the baby could have come by her fatal injuries. Violent shaking resulted in parts of the brain moving in different directions, Prof Al-Sarraj told the jury at How Crown Court.

The Argus: Michael Roe in a black suit, wearing handcuffsMichael Roe in a black suit, wearing handcuffs

The professor described complex brain injuries which killed baby Holly.

Tears to the wiring deep inside her brain could not be explained by any natural causes, he said.

“The brain has violent forward and backward movement consistent with violent accelerations and decelerations.

“These are more likely to be abusive brain injury.

“They are extremely rare in accidental brain injury.”

His findings showed indications of severe, non-accidental head injury.

The professor said the timing of each injury could not be exact.

“The recent injury was likely just before death, another a few days before and another a few weeks before,” he said.

Asked if there could be any explanation other than her injuries were inflicted by somebody else, Prof Al-Sarraj said: “No other explanation.”


Earlier, the court heard he was concerned former partner Tate could have harmed their baby

During police interviews following the death of baby Holly, Roe said he told a health visitor about his concerns two days before

“I’ve got a duty as a parent to protect my child,” he said.

“If she’s had a baby in her arms and thought about killing her.”

Roe and Tate both deny murder.

They both deny allowing the other to kill the baby.

The trial continues.