A baby boy was shaken to death by his childminder when she lost her temper because he would not feed properly, the Old Bailey heard.Carmen Toscano Naranjo, 35, is alleged to have repeatedly harmed eight-month-old Dylan Salinas over a period of months until he was taken to King's College Hospital in south London, where he was found to have a severe head injury.
He survived a further seven weeks in intensive care but died from the injury in June 2007, the court heard. Naranjo, a mother of three from Camberwell, denies manslaughter and a further charge of cruelty in relation to a seven-year-old girl.
Prosecutor Edward Brown QC said Dylan's head injury was the result of “perhaps what was no more than a momentary loss of temper”, but he alleged it was “a deliberate assault”.
The injury was so severe that doctors who conducted the post-mortem examination concluded it was like those found in car crash victims, jurors heard. The court heard that in the months leading up to Dylan's admission to hospital, his mother Rebecca Salinas, 37, found scratches, bruises and pinch marks all over his body.
Mr Brown said Naranjo, who had the job of caring for Dylan on most weekdays while his mother worked, was “ill-treating him no doubt because she became cross and angry with him”.
Ms Salinas tried to find another childminder but was persuaded to give Naranjo a second chance, the court heard. She claimed Naranjo would “force feed” Dylan who would often fail to drink his milk and vomited regularly, though doctors could not identify any serious health problems.
“There was something of an anxiety in the defendant and exaggerated determination for children in her care to eat and feed well, as she saw it, and to finish their food,” Mr Brown said. “This may lie behind the loss of temper that caused her to assault Dylan.” Naranjo began to look after Dylan in October 2006 after offering to help his mother when they bumped into each other on a bus. The women had met several years before in their native Ecuador, jurors were told.
Ms Salinas would drop Dylan at Naranjo's flat each day at about 7.30am and collect him at 5.30pm. It is alleged that Dylan's mother saw Naranjo slap another child's head when she refused her food, and that the girl was later seen with a bruise on her face. Naranjo allegedly said she had “hit her for a reason”.