A SOCIAL worker with more than 10 years’ experience in child abuse cases told an inquest in Wodonga yesterday the injuries to baby Charlotte Rose Keen were etched in her memory.
“It was quite shocking,” Cris Chapman said when giving evidence through a video link from Melbourne.
“What I do remember is the child and her injuries.
“They were very disturbing. She had significant bruising to her face. Her face was a blue colour.
“Significant levels of abuse had likely occurred.”
Ms Chapman said Charlotte had injuries which were older along with fresh injuries.
The child was transferred from Wodonga to the Albury hospital and flown to the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne on December 12, 2004.
She was on life support for five days, but all treatment ceased at 12.15pm on December 17.
Charlotte died that day, three days shy of her first birthday.
Ms Chapman at the time was working in the Gatehouse Centre attached to the hospital.
She said in her role she had seen many battered babies.
Ms Chapman said a forensic paediatrician was asked to look at Charlotte for non-accidental injuries.
The first contact Ms Chapman had with Charlotte’s parents, Graeme Keen and Renee Jones, was on December 14.
Mr Keen had care of Charlotte on the weekend of December 4 and 5 and Ms Chapman said she was told the child had no bruises.
When a doctor saw the child on December 9, she had a broken arm.
Ms Chapman said Charlotte was taken to Wodonga hospital on December 12 and the police were called.
The child had previously been cared for by 12 different people over a period of four days before being taken to the hospital. Ms Chapman said some of those looking after Charlotte were teenagers.
A forensic pathologist has previously told the inquest Charlotte had up to 25 bruises on her body at the time of her death. Coroner Jacinta Heffey has been told the injuries were consistent with shaken baby syndrome.
The inquest at Wodonga Court continues next week.