Dad: I would never harm my son – so 'she' must have done
THE FATHER of a baby boy found with broken bones and bruises has told a jury he "would never harm a hair on his head".
Christopher Sheldon, aged 32, denied assaulting his son Ethan – and said the only person who could have done so was his wife Charlotte.
Both are on trial at Plymouth Crown Court on two charges of child cruelty.
The Crown Prosecution Service claims both Christopher and 24-year-old Charlotte Sheldon assaulted Ethan in the first four months of his life.
The jury has been told that he suffered three broken ribs, a fractured collarbone, a fractured ankle and a broken big toe.
He was also found with bruising on his back, arms and legs after a health visitor raised the alarm.
Doctors have said the injuries could not have been caused accidentally.
The injuries were uncovered after a routine visit by a health visitor to the couple's home when Ethan was just four months old, the jury was told.
Christopher Sheldon, giving evidence on the third day of their trial, said the first he knew of any injury was the day before the health visitor's routine visit to their family home in Sefton Avenue, Lipson, in October 2010.
He added he noticed some bruising but said four-month-old Ethan did not appear to be in any distress.
His barrister, Malcolm Clark, asked him: "Did you at any stage assault Ethan?"
Sheldon replied: "Definitely not."
Mr Clark continued: "Did you handle him roughly?"
Sheldon said: "He is all I ever wanted. I would never harm a hair on his head. He is my own flesh and blood."
Sheldon said he did not know of anyone else who had treated Ethan "in that way."
Mr Clark asked: "Who assaulted him?"
Sheldon replied: "If I have not done it then she [Charlotte] must have. I would not harm my little boy."
Earlier Sheldon said that he had met Charlotte "five or six" years ago. But he said after a few months her behaviour changed.
He added: "She would become aggressive and violent towards me. She would elbow me in the face. She would lose control."
Sheldon said he married her, hoping that she would change.
But he added that on one occasion she pushed him down some stairs in a row over a bag.
Sheldon, who said that they married in "2008 or 2009", said he became depressed and was given sick leave from his job at a call centre.
He added he spent most of his mornings in bed.
Christopher Sheldon, of Bridgetown, Totnes, and Charlotte Sheldon, of Sefton Avenue, each deny two alternative charges.
Each is accused of "ill-treating or assaulting" Ethan between his birth in May 2010 and October that year.
The jury was told the offence covered the assaults on the baby.
The pair are also charged with "neglect or exposing" him – failing to seek medical attention for his injuries over the same period.
The trial continues.