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Pensioner to stand trial over historic child murder

15 Novembre 2017

A stepfather has been accused of murdering a toddler nearly 50 years ago after a Facebook picture jogged the memory of the boy's older brother, who allegedly witnessed it aged three.

David Dearlove is standing trial for the murder of Paul Booth, who died in hospital in October 1968, after an incident at their home in Stockton-on-Tees.

But despite Peter trying to get the police to reopen the investigation on three separate occasions, the case remained closed for five decades.

But the boy's brother Peter, who was then three, says he saw Dearlove swing him around by the ankles and smash his head into a fireplace in October 1968.

Prosecutor Richard Wright QC said there was no doubt that a fractured skull had been the cause of Paul's death, but the jury needed to decide how it had happened.

It came after he was incensed when a picture of Dearlove with Paul was posted on Facebook.

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'He had watched as his stepfather smashed the little boy's head into the fire surround, causing the fatal injury to his skull by the impact.

"Peter told the police that the death of Paul was not the result of an accidental fall out of bed". It had been murder'.

Mr Wright said after Paul's death that doctors had found multiple bruises of "differing ages" and he had suffered numerous "non-accidental injuries".

Dearlove, now of Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, denies murder, manslaughter and three charges of cruelty.

The photograph and video of David Dearlove, 71, of Wolseley Road, were taken on the first day of his trial at Teeside Crown Court yesterday.

Pensioner to stand trial over historic child murder