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Fife man accused of severely injuring babies ‘said he squeezed them so they couldn’t make any noise’

Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court.

A Fife man accused of endangering the lives of two babies told detectives he had “squeezed them so they couldn’t make any noise.”

Former naval officer Andrew Forsyth said he was responsible for causing multiple injuries to the weeks-old infants, a jury was told.

The 38-year-old is on trial accused of assaulting the youngsters at locations in Fife on occasions during a two-year period.

Jurors heard a medical assessment of one child found red, blue and purple bruises across the scalp, left arm, chest, thighs, abdomen and genitals.

A further examination found multiple fractured ribs.

The second child had scratches across their back and head.

A skeletal survey found “multiple healed or healing rib fractures.”

Arms in an X-shape across chest

Detective Constable Ian Robertson told Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court he was involved in the investigation into the children’s injuries.

On February 19, Forsyth attended voluntarily at Police HQ in Glenrothes, DC Robertson said.

“He said he had caused injuries to (the two babies).

“He said he had squeezed them so they couldn’t make any noise.”

DC Robertson, 45, said Forsyth demonstrated what happened by putting both of his arms across his chest in an X-shape and pulling them towards his body.

“He talked about having depression and that his medication had changed.”

DC Robertson said: “He had previously indicated that (one of the babies) had fallen from his lap.”

However, Forsyth told investigators: “(The child) didn’t fall”.

Asked by procurator fiscal depute Alex Kirk how Forsyth seemed, DC Robertson said: “He was upset and crying.”

Forsyth was taken to Kirkcaldy police office for interview but after legal advice from his solicitor, he declined to answer questions.

Under cross-examination by defence counsel David Taylor, DC Robertson said Forsyth’s “incriminating” words had moved him from witness to suspect.

Facebook query

The trial also heard from the babies’ mother, who cannot be identified for legal reasons.

She told jurors she became concerned about purple marks on her youngest child’s body.

She posted images on Facebook to ask friends if they knew what might have caused them.

On January 18, she took her baby to see a GP.

The child appeared to be in pain and was making an unusually high pitched scream.

At the surgery, she took off the baby’s nappy and discovered bruising on and around the genitals.

“I was shocked,” she said. “It was just a mess down there.”

The mum, who is in her 30s, broke down in tears as photos of the injuries were shown in court.

“I said I didn’t understand how that had happened.

“But then I said: ‘I think it was me. I tripped up with (the child)’.”

The mother had told the court that earlier that day, she had tripped at home while carrying the youngster.

She said that a few days later, it emerged the injuries could not have been caused by the trip.

Explanations

Forsyth then told her the baby had fallen off his chest and he had “slammed” his arm to catch the youngster.

Later, he told her the child had fallen and hit the legs of a chair, the mum said.

She said he later offered another explanation.

“He sighed and said: ‘Fine, I squeezed them’.

“He said: ‘They wouldn’t stop crying so I squeezed them.’

“He seemed annoyed that he had had to admit to it.”

The allegations

Forsyth is accused of seizing the babies by the body, repeatedly and forcefully compressing them and – by means unknown – inflicting injuries to the danger of their lives.

Forsyth, of Glenderval Place, Glenrothes, denies all charges.

He has lodged a special defence of incrimination, alleging the injuries were inflicted by the babies’ mother.

The trial before Sheriff Elizabeth McFarlane continues.

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