Teen accused of shaking baby to death called him a ‘c***’ in Snapchat message

Elijah Shemwell suffered limb and rib fractures before he died in January 2022 (Picture: PA)

A teenager accused of murdering a four-month-old baby by shaking him after losing his temper called the infant a ‘c***t’ in a Snapchat message days earlier, a court has heard.

Elijah Shemwell suffered limb and rib fractures before he died in January 2022, allegedly at the hands of his mum’s ex Carl Alesbrook.

The 19-year-old denies murder and two additional counts of GBH relating to attacks on Elijah. A third GBH charge was withdrawn by the judge due to insufficient evidence.

Days before Elijah was rushed to hospital on January 2, Alesbrook, who was 16 at the time, sent a Snapchat message to Elijah’s mother, India Shemwell, calling the baby a ‘c***’.

Ms Shemwell, 23, messaged him saying she would buy some baby formula, to which Alesbrook replied: ‘He is being a c***, he keeps spitting it out. He doesn’t need changing either, I checked 10 minutes ago.’

When asked by defence barrister Mark Heywood KC whether he was ‘unduly angered or irritated’ by Elijah, Alesbrook responded ‘no’.

The defendant, of Matlock, told the jury he fed Elijah ‘quite a few times’, but that was all ‘responsibility-wise’.

Prosecutor Vanessa Marshall KC alleged that the child crying could make the 16-year-old ‘lose his temper’, especially if he was ‘not feeling great himself’.

The jury heard evidence that Alesbrook was suffering from a toothache and had sought co-codamol to treat it.

She addressed Alesbrook: ‘Despite your efforts to console him, you resorted to the only tactic you discovered could stop that baby crying and that was to shake him.

‘You shook him on at least two occasions, one of which killed him.’

Alesbrook also denied being ‘in love’ with Ms Shemwell or being ‘jealous’ that she was still seeing the father of her child.

But evidence was shown to the jury that Alesbrook sent her a message saying it ‘hurts’ him that she slept with Elijah’s father just four hours after he had helped her at home.

Ms Marshall alleged that this ‘really upset’ Alesbrook, but he said: ‘I wouldn’t say that it really upset me, it would be more of a shock that it happened within a small time.’

The trial continues.

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