Nova Scotia

Dad's manslaughter trial hears about baby's death

Baby girl Aurora Breakthrough died of a blunt-force injury to her head, the court heard Thursday as her father's manslaughter trial continues in Halifax.

WARNING: Story contains graphic details

Ashiqur Rahman's trial


9 years agoVideo
Court heard details of how baby girl Aurora Breakthrough died. 2:36

Baby girl Aurora Breakthrough died of a blunt-force injury to her head, the court heard Thursday at her father's trial.

Dr. Marnie Wood, a medical examiner, described the baby's cause of death as Ashiqur Rahman's trial continued Thursday in Halifax.

Aurora was seven weeks old when she died at the IWK Health Centre in July 2009.

Wood said she didn't know how the baby was injured. She said the girl was either hit on the head or her head was smashed into an object, or she was shaken.

"There were a number of injuries to the bones of this baby — broken ribs, broken arm and leg bones that were observed, and blunt force trauma to the head," said Crown attorney Denise Smith.

"The medical examiner has offered the opinion [that] was the cause of death in this case."

Rahman, 25, is charged with manslaughter and aggravated assault.

Wood testified some of the baby's fractures happened when she was three weeks old. Aurora's wrist was broken from being bent or struck, court heard, and her leg had been hurt from someone twisting it.

As Wood gave her testimony, she encircled her hands, as if to show the squeezing force that broke the baby's ribs. She said almost all of the girl's ribs were broken — some were broken twice. Three were fractured during CPR.

Ashiqur Rahman's trial began in Halifax last week. (CBC)
Court heard that by the time the baby was rushed to hospital, her brain was so severely injured that parts of her brain were liquefied.

Last week, a doctor testified that Aurora was in a deep coma when she arrived in the hospital's emergency department.

Dr. Brian Norman said when he first saw the baby, she was suffering from severe brain damage. He said her brain had swelled to the point that the soft spot on her head was pushed outward.

Norman also said tests showed the baby had suffered previous "non-accidental" injuries, including broken ribs.

The baby's mother, 24-year-old Jane Gomes, pleaded guilty last year to a charge of failing to provide the necessities of life.

Gomes is expected to testify at Rahman's trial in two weeks.