Father’s trial continues

Accused: Joby Rowe (left) arrives at the Supreme Court in Bendigo for his child homicide trial with lawyer, Alex McLennan. Picture: NONI HYETT

Accused: Joby Rowe (left) arrives at the Supreme Court in Bendigo for his child homicide trial with lawyer, Alex McLennan. Picture: NONI HYETT

DAY ONE: Mother weeps as alleged baby killer’s trial begins

DAY TWO: Court hears of baby’s final hours

Paramedics have told the Supreme Court a man accused of shaking his baby daughter to death said she “choked” and “coughed and spluttered” while he was feeding her.

Joby Anthony Rowe, 24, is on trial in Bendigo charged with one count of child homicide, following the death of his three-month-old daughter Alanah Rowe in 2015.

Heathcote paramedic Michael Holden was the first to arrive on the scene following a triple zero call from Alanah’s mother, Stephanie Knibbs, on August 29.

Later that afternoon, after leaving Alanah in the care of other paramedics as she was airlifted to the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne, Mr Holden said he returned to the unit where Mr Rowe and Ms Knibbs lived.

It was then he said Mr Rowe told him he was “just giving the baby a bottle” when she vomited and then fell backwards and became unconscious.

Mr Rowe’s barrister Paul Higham suggested Mr Holden may have been “confused” as to who had said what and that it may have been someone else he had been speaking to, but Mr Holden disagreed with that proposition, saying he had a “good recollection” of the conversation.

Flight paramedic Brad Sanders, who accompanied Alanah on the helicopter to Melbourne, also told the court he spoke to Mr Rowe at the couple’s unit, where Mr Rowe told him “he was feeding the baby and the baby choked, vomited and then went quiet”.

Earlier in the day, the court also heard from Heathcote Health nurses Robyn McCarthy and Elizabeth Hudspeth.

Ms McCarthy, who visited Alanah and her parents at their home in the weeks after her birth, said both Ms Knibbs and Mr Rowe presented as caring and attentive parents after taking Alanah home from hospital.

“I didn’t see anything out of the ordinary,” she said.

Ms Hudspeth said both parents were “very excited to have Alanah home” and her development was “within the normal range” for a premature baby.

Alanah’s life support was switched off on August 30.

The trial before Justice Lex Lasry continues on Tuesday.

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