Mother, 33, murdered baby son by shaking him and striking his head, court told

A mother murdered her baby son by shaking him and striking his head on a hard surface, a court heard.

Eloddie Goncalves, 33, told a 999 call handler “my son is dead, he’s not moving”, prosecutor Karim Khalil KC told a trial at Chelmsford Crown Court (pictured).

He said that paramedics who attended Goncalves’s flat in Harlow, Essex at around 10am on August 19, 2020 found that 12-week-old Malik Goncalves was dead.

“While the flat was being examined, several empty bottles of wine were found both inside and outside in the communal gardens,” Mr Khalil said.

He said the prosecution case is that Goncalves assaulted Malik “violently by shaking him and by striking his head against one or more hard surfaces, causing multiple fractures and most importantly traumatic brain injuries”.

He said that a social services safety plan, signed by Goncalves and Muritala Olaiya-Imam, who said at the time that he was the father, was in place.

Mr Khalil said Olaiya-Imam, 37, “said he was the father … although subsequent DNA tests have revealed he was not”.

The plan had stipulated that Goncalves, who has mental health issues, was not to drink alcohol, she was not to be left alone with her child and Olaiya-Imam was to contact police if Goncalves was under the influence of alcohol.

The plan was put in place on June 25, 2020 following an incident the previous day when police were called to the flat, Mr Khalil said.

He said that on June 24 officers who attended the flat after a call from a neighbour found Goncalves “handling (her child) in a rather unsafe manner, slurring her words, unsteady on her feet”.

Goncalves was taken into police custody and Olaiya-Imam, who was not at the flat was contacted.

Mr Khalil said Olaiya-Imam told social services “he wanted to be the main carer for the (child) together with his mother”.

The prosecutor said police released Goncalves with no further action and a social services safety plan was put in place.

He said that when emergency services attended the flat on August 19, Goncalves claimed “somebody came into the house because I left the window open”.

He said that Olaiya-Imam arrived at the flat while emergency services were there, “was told about Malik’s death and appeared immediately to go into shock”.

Goncalves, formerly of Joyners Field, Harlow, denies murder, and she denies an alternative count of causing the death of a child.

She also denies assaulting an emergency worker who was trying to help Malik.

Olaiya-Imam, whose address cannot be reported for legal reasons, denies allowing the death of a child by leaving Malik alone with Goncalves.

Mr Khalil said he “was or ought to have been aware of that risk” and “he should have been there to protect”.

Both defendants deny cruelty to a child, which Mr Khalil said related to “older injuries” found when Malik was examined after his death.

They also both deny doing an act intending to pervert the course of justice, which Mr Khalil said related to a urine sample that Goncalves was asked to provide while at hospital after Malik’s death on August 19.

He said that the sample was “contaminated”, adding that both defendants’ urine was in the single sample.

“We say their act to corrupt that sample was done to interfere with the police investigation,” said Mr Khalil.

He said that a back calculation on a blood sample from Goncalves estimated that at 10am on August 19 she was around one and a half times over the legal drink drive limit.

There were also “constituents of cannabis” in the blood sample, Mr Khalil said.

The trial, due to last up to six weeks, continues.

Copyright (c) PA Media Ltd. 2023, All Rights Reserved. Picture (c) Chris Radburn / PA.