A dad allegedly shook his 11-week-old son to death, after warning the child’s mum that he would make him cry if she did not stop arguing with him, a court has heard.
Haroldas Bugaila has been accused of killing his baby son, Martinas Bugaila, on March 27, 2019, when the infant was discovered with a face as “white as paper” after being left with the defendant.
The court heard of how the 29-year-old chicken factory worker had his phone confiscated by his partner, Aliona, moments before the alleged murder, because she was “she was annoyed that he was playing on it”.
Jurors were told that the Lithuanian-born defendant said “give it back” to Aliona before going back upstairs in an “angry” mood.
The prosecution alleges Bugaila was left alone with Martinas for five minutes before starting to shout: “Come here, there’s something wrong.”
Both Aliona, 22, and her sister, Violeta, ran upstairs to find the youngster lying on his back “completely white” and not breathing.
The prosecution panel told the court the infant had been “turning blue” as his mother made resuscitation attempts.
Violeta described Martinas as “limp, white with eyes half-open, not breathing, not making any sound, and lying in a very strange way”, the jury panel heard.
Opening the case against Bugaila on Wednesday, prosecutor Jonas Hankin QC told the jury: “This case concerns the circumstances surrounding the events leading to the death of an 11-week-old baby boy named Martinas Bugaila.
“The prosecution says that the fatal injury sustained by Martinas … was deliberately inflicted by (his) natural father, Haroldas Bugaila.
“The likely mechanism … was shaking,” Mr Hankin said.
Bugaila was responsible for a previous episode of violence against his son, Mr Hankin told jurors, which happened between February 5 and March 15 of the same year.
The prosecutor continued: “The prosecution contends that the defendant is responsible for the old injuries.
“The defendant denies having assaulted (the) infant at any time or in any way.
“It will be your task to determine whether the prosecution has satisfied you as to the defendant’s guilt.”
The jury panel heard of how Aliona and Bugaila’s relationship was strained, with arguments having taken place between the pair, during which Aliona spoke to the defendant in a way to which “he objected”.
“Disconcertingly, say the prosecution, on more than one occasion the defendant warned Aliona that he would ‘make (Martinas) cry’ if she did not stop speaking to him that way.”
According to the Crown’s QC, a row took place between the pair on March 21, which led Bugaila to complain to Aliona that he did not want to look after Martinas when he was “unsettled”.
“An argument developed in their bedroom, during which Mr Bugaila repeated his threat that he would do something to make (Martinas) cry,” Mr Hankin added.
Bugaila, formerly of Boston, denies one charge of murder and one charge of grievous bodily harm against Martinas.
He also denies two further charges of grievous bodily harm against another child.
The trial continues.