Doctors to be quizzed on how Proserpine toddler died

ONGOING: The trial of murder-accused Matthew James Ireland will continue on July 11.
ONGOING: The trial of murder-accused Matthew James Ireland will continue on July 11.

A DEFENCE barrister for the Townsville man charged over the death of Proserpine-born toddler Hemi Les Burke has made an application to question three medical professionals during a committal hearing into the incident.

Matthew James Ireland, 30, appeared in the Mackay Magistrates Court on Thursday via video link.

He was charged with murder in March last year after the boy died.

Barrister Tim Ryan, for ATSI Legal Services, said a forensic pathologist's report said the two-year-old boy had died from a "head injury" and that there had been other injuries to the child's body such as bruises and an abrasion to the back of his head.

Mr Ryan said the medical report did not address the "number of blows" or whether these had been delivered by "deliberate application of force or accidental application of force".

The report also didn't address whether the degree of force was consistent with an intent to cause death or grievous bodily harm, he said.

Prosecutor Sheena Hayes said the report stated "the bruising to multiple sites is consistent with multiple blunt force impacts".

"The skull fracture would require a blunt impact of severe force," Ms Hayes said.

There would be exhibits tendered including photos and records from the Moranbah and Townsville hospitals relating to the "number of injuries that are sustained", Ms Hayes said.

In addition to the forensic pathologist, Mr Ryan wanted to cross-examine the two doctors who treated the boy while he was alive at Townsville Hospital.

Mr Ryan said their statements didn't address whether their observations of the injuries were that they had been caused by a deliberate or an accidental application of force. Magistrate Damien Dwyer said the issues could be addressed with "addendum statements".

The matter was set down for committal hearing on July 11.

Topics:  mackay magistrate's court toddler death

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