Jury shown footage of distraught murder accused

March 23, 2017 | By More

Troy Taylor murder trial, Day Four: A jury has watched minutes of footage of a distraught Troy Kevin Taylor when he was left alone in a police interview room after being interviewed about the death of toddler Ihaka Paora Braxton Stokes in July 2015.

Taylor, 23, denied causing the toddler’s injuries and told the interviewing officer: “I would lay down my life for him. That boy is everything to me.”

Taylor described in the video interview how he had carried out CPR on 14-month-old Ihaka as he gasped for air, and then the officer took a break to confer with his colleagues.

While he was left alone in the interview room for six minutes, Taylor sat quietly but clearly distraught, sniffling and wiping his eyes, before the officer resumed the interview. The entire six-minute interval was played for the jury on the fourth day of the the trial before Justice Cameron Mander and a jury.

Taylor denies charges of assaulting the child on July 2, 2015, and murdering him on July 3. The Crown will call evidence from 36 witnesses during the trial which will take about two weeks. The Crown alleges that Taylor “lost it” and injured the child, but the defence has accused the boy’s mother, Mikala Stokes, of being the person who caused the fatal injuries.

A post mortem examination indicated Ihaka had 59 injuries. He was found unwell in his cot by Taylor during the night. Resuscitation began and he was rushed to hospital but he was pronounced dead about an hour after being found.

Taylor said he returned in the evening to the Bryndwr home he shared with Miss Stokes, after he had been out getting tattooed and buying groceries.

He found Ihaka had been put to bed in his cot but he was still awake and Taylor got into the cot and cuddled him to sleep. After he and Miss Stokes went to bed, he heard a thud “clear as day” and believed Ihaka had fallen in his cot and hit his head. He had previously heard that noise when he was watching, when Ihaka hit his head.

He went to check on him after that, and found him lying face down, with blood at the side of his mouth, unresponsive and struggling for breath. He woke Mikala and they called emergency services and began CPR.

The officer questioned Taylor about being the person who was with him before he was put to sleep.

Taylor said: “I would never, ever lay a finger on that boy. He means the world to me. I love that kid like he is my own son. He is my son. I would never do anything to hurt him.”

The trial is continuing.

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