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Parents accused of murdering their 11-week-old daughter left her with brain injuries, skull fracture and ‘possible bite marks’, court hears


Two parents accused of murdering their newborn baby daughter left her with brain injuries, a skull fracture and ‘possible bite marks’ on her body, a court heard.

Hazel Prajapati was admitted to Northwick Park Hospital on 16 September 2022 as she was suffering from a cardiac arrest and was unable to breathe on her own.

She died aged just 11 weeks four days later at Great Ormond Street Hospital, Snaresbrook Crown Court heard.

Labourer Krunal Prajapati, 27, and his wife Rinkalben Prajapati, 24, of Colindale, northwest London, deny murder and causing or allowing her death.

Consultant paediatrician Dr Ehmed Jadou noted Hazel had ‘many bruises of different colours on various parts of the body’.

Jurors heard Hazel suffered a catalogue of injuries including ‘intercranial hemorrhage, a skull fracture, a hypoxic brain injury, rib fractures, pulmonary contusion (bruises on the lungs) and multiple bruises on skin and possible bite marks’.

Hazel Prajapati died aged just 11 weeks old at Great Ormond Street Hospital on September 20 2022. She was admitted with bleeding in her brain, fractures to her skull and bruising over her body

Consultant paediatrician Dr Ehmed Jadou (pictured) noted Hazel had 'many bruises of different colours on various parts of the body'

Consultant paediatrician Dr Ehmed Jadou (pictured) noted Hazel had ‘many bruises of different colours on various parts of the body’

She had sustained head swelling compatible with trauma caused by an injury prior to her arrival at the emergency department.

There was also signs of brain damage identified by her pupils which were fixed, dilated and non-responsive, jurors heard. 

A CT scan showed there were fractures on both side of the little girl’s head, the court heard, as well as rib fractures. 

Hazel was transferred to the paediatric intensive care at Great Ormond Street hospital in the early hours of 17 September under the care of paediatric consultant Dr Elise Randall.

Hazel had been intubated and was on a ventilator to help with her breathing.

She also required medication to keep her blood pressure up including a hydrocortisone shock.

Dr Randall told the court: ‘In Hazel’s case we were worried she wasn’t able to support her own blood pressure without two other medications also administered to stabilise it.

‘We were worried with that injury, the brain would swell as a CT scan showed increasing swelling.

‘There were signs of intercranial pressure from the injury cause by lack of oxygen to the brain.

‘We were likely seeing brain swelling and this would continue to increase cardiovascular instability, her blood pressure was fluctuating up and down a lot, likely to be a sign of cerebral edema.’

Hazel’s parents were arrested and taken into police custody for questioning while their daughter was still in hospital.

Labourer Krunal Prajapati, 27, and wife Rinkalben Prajapati, 24, of Colindale, northwest London, are standing trial at Snaresbrook Crown Court (pictured) and both deny murder and causing or allowing Hazel’s death

Sally O’Neill KC, prosecuting, asked the consultant: ‘You asked if the parents could be brought in on request of police officers because you were extremely worried about the pre-existing injuries and the concern her brain could easily swell and she could die from that?’

‘The parents were quiet, mum was tearful, and mum asked about the fractures, she said “are there any more fractures, are there any more details on that?”‘

Dr Randall said: ‘I asked them to be brought in so they could see Hazel as I was worried she could potentially have a cardiac arrest in the very near future.

‘I said there were skull fractures and many marks that could be from trauma…’

Jurors heard a CT scan of Hazel’s brain showed ‘irreversible global hypoxic injury, subdural and arachnoid bleed, and skull fractures’.

Dr Randall told the court there were ‘no areas of Hazel’s brain that had been spared injury’.

Both parents were arrested at the hospital in the early hours of 17 September 2022 on suspicion of child neglect and actual bodily harm.

They were taken to Wembley police station for questioning.

In interview Mrs Prajapati, aided by a Gujarati interpreter, told officers prior to her daughter becoming unwell it was a ‘totally normal day’ and that evening Hazel was crying after her husband had changed her nappy.

‘I was in the kitchen at the time, and I told my husband to eat, to come into the kitchen, and then we both went into the kitchen. Then I showed her face, and it looked a bit abnormal, I thought it was due to the light,’ she told officers. 

Mrs Prajapati said: ‘She then started gasping, then closed her eyes and [lost] control of her body, then we called a cab and went to hospital. At that time there was nothing on her cheek or on her body.’

The trial continues.



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