Scott Gladwin trial: Defendent takes to the stand

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The man accused of shaking a Huthwaite baby - causing catastrophic brain injuries that led to its death - has told a court that he used to look after the child like ‘a father should’.

Scott Gladwin (20) has been giving evidence at Nottingham Crown Court today (Thursday 7th November), where he is on trial accused of the manslaughter of four-month-old baby Scott Cawthorne in February 2010.

Under questioning from his defence counsel, Shaun Smith QC, Gladwin said that he had moved into the Woodland Avenue house where baby Scott lived with his mum Kelly Middleton - then called Kelly Moss - her partner Adam Cawthorne, and her two other children, after falling out with his mum’s boyfriend.

Then aged just 16, he said used to help feed, change, dress and play with the children.

When asked how he would describe the things he did with the children, he said: “Everything that a father should have been doing.”

Gladwin said that he did not mind looking after the children and there had never been any problems while they were in his care.

Before he moved into the house, Gladwin said that his relationship with Kelly, who is 12 years older than him, was just as normal neighbours, but changed after he moved in.

He said that she started ‘flirting’ with him and initiated the first physical contact.

They first had sex before Adam, a heroin addict, moved out of the house and Gladwin said that he was ‘a little bit’ shocked but agreed with Mr Smith that he ‘was not complaining’.

Mr Smith asked: “At any stage had you been the one who had started the sexual activity that ended up with sexual intercourse?”

“No,” replied Gladwin.

After Adam moved out, Gladwin said that he and Kelly had sex ‘very regularly’ but he had not told anyone as he ‘didn’t want [his] mum finding out’.

On 3rd February 2010, the day that baby Scott received the fatal brain injury from which he died, Gladwin said he had fed the baby some yogurt.

He had also played with him, throwing him up in the air and catching him, but stopped when Kelly asked him to even though baby Scott seemed to be enjoying it.

Gladwin said that when a health visitor came to see Kelly’s two-year-old son Damian, he was upstairs in the front bedroom of the house and stayed there until she had left.

When he came downstairs, Kelly was getting ready to go to the shops and baby Scott was in his car seat, tucked in a blanket and facing the TV area so he could not see the baby’s face.

He said she left the house, locking the front door on her way out and leaving him to look after the baby and toddler.

Gladwin told the court that he lay on the settee watching television and after about 15 minutes got up to go to the toilet before going to the kitchen to fetch a drink.

When he went back into the front room, he saw something that caused him concern, he said.

“The baby was pale,” he told the court, explaining that there was also something wrong with his eyes.

“They were rolling round in his head,” he added.

Gladwin decided to get somebody to help and brought neighbour Simon Whitlam round, who with Gladwin tried to resuscitate the baby until an ambulance arrived.

“Had you any idea it was as badly injured as we have heard?,” asked Mr Smith.

“No,” replied Gladwin.

Gladwin admitted that he was ‘calm’ during these proceedings and said he was trying to be calm because he wanted to help the baby.

“Did you do anything to baby Scott after Kelly had gone to the shop to harm him in any way, shape or form?,” Mr Smith asked.

“No,” replied Gladwin.

In cross-examination, Yvonne Coen QC asked Gladwin if ‘some dreadful accident’ had happened to baby Scott, to which he again replied ‘no’.

“So we can rule out accident as an explanation,” she said.

Noting that the injuries to Scott must have been down to either Gladwin or Kelly, Miss Coen asked him if he considered Kelly to be a ‘decent woman’ and a ‘good mum’, and he said yes.

He denied shaking the baby and causing the injuries from which he died, stating that he never took baby Scott out of his chair and did not see him being moved from it by Mr Whitlam.

The trial continues.