Hampstead shaken baby trial: Father shook baby son with sufficient force to cause ‘serious and fatal injuries’, court told

PUBLISHED: 16:02 20 February 2018 | UPDATED: 18:53 20 February 2018

Paramedics were called to College House, Finchley Road, Hampstead, on February 20 last year. Picture: GOOGLE MAPS

Paramedics were called to College House, Finchley Road, Hampstead, on February 20 last year. Picture: GOOGLE MAPS


A father who allegedly shook his six-week-old son to death claimed the boy died after falling out of his baby bouncer, a court has heard.

Pedro Rubim, 43, is accused of causing fatal injuries to little Alejandro Rubim while the tot’s mother, nanny Maribel Rodriguez, 40, was at the dentist’s.

Paramedics were called to the family home in College House, Finchley Road, Hampstead, on the morning of February 20 last year, but the child died in hospital four days later.

Alejandro had suffered “serious head and eye injuries” consistent with what is often called “a shaken baby”, Blackfriars Crown Court heard today.

Portuguese Rubim, who worked as an administration assistant for financial firm Global Asset Management, denies manslaughter.

The court heard he told his partner of five years, Ms Rodriguez, the baby was in his bouncer on a sofa bed when he went to make his bottle.

In an account given to medics and police when he returned from the kitchen after between 30 and 45 seconds Alejandro was on the floor, Rubim claimed.

But prosecutor Sally O’Neill QC said: “It is the Crown’s case that for whatever reason, Pedro Rubim shook his baby son with sufficient force to cause those serious and fatal injuries to him and that he did so at the very least with the intention of causing some harm.

“This is not a case of a 45-day-old baby falling accidentally out of a baby bouncer, even if not restrained by the straps in the bouncer.

“It is the Crown’s case that that simply could not have happened, but even if in some way it had, that would still not account for the extent and severity of Alejandro’s injuries.”

The court heard Alejandro was a “perfectly fit and healthy baby” when his mother left to visit the dentist after 9am on the morning of the incident with Rubim sitting on the settee holding the boy in his arms as he gave him his bottle.

But paramedics were already in their one-bedroom flat when she next spoke to her partner at around 11.30am.

Outlining what Rubim said, Ms O’Neill told jurors: “The baby was in the bouncer on the sofa bed, he went to make his bottle, when he turned from the kitchen, he saw him on the floor, on his back.

“He picked him up and he was floppy so he went to the bedroom to put him on the bed.

“He started seeing blood out of his mouth and called for an ambulance.”

Alejandro was treated at the Royal Free Hospital and Great Ormond Street Hospital, but he was declared dead at 3pm on February 24 2016.

When he was arrested, Rubim told police he was “deeply upset and in shock about this terrible accident” as he loved Alejandro very much, the court heard.

Rubim, who is on bail and currently lives in Enfield, sat next to an interpreter in the dock wearing glasses and a blue zip-up jacket over a white shirt as the prosecutor outlined the case against him.

The judge, Mr Justice Kerr, told the jury of seven women and five men: “There is absolutely no question of murder in this case. Put that out of your minds.There is absolutely no suggestion whatsoever the defendant deliberately ended his son’s life.”

The trial continues.

Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

Yesterday, 16:45

A school has pulled out all the stops to champion all things scientific.

Yesterday, 10:49

A 23-year-old woman has been sentenced after attacking a railway worker with some of the “worst racial abuse” he had ever heard.

Tue, 18:44

A sixth teenager has been charged by police over the fatal stabbing of 19-year-old Lewis Blackman, otherwise known as ‘Dotz’.

Tue, 14:09

The leader of Camden Conservatives and councillor for Frognal and Fitzjohns has rubbished claims by Owen Jones that he doesn’t hold surgeries, and all Tory candidates in the ward are Brexit supporters.

Tue, 10:50

New figures have highlighted the intense pressure the Whittington Hospital estate was under during winter.

Mon, 19:53

Homeland actress Nazanin Boniadi joined Richard Ratcliffe, the husband of jailed West Hampstead mum Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, at a special performance of a play to raise awareness of his wife’s plight.

A group of 15 budding politicians have launched their campaigns to become Camden’s next youth MP.

Mon, 17:00

Only mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun. Or so the saying goes. However it was only Camden’s political activists and left-wing campaigner Owen Jones who braved the snow on a freezing Saturday morning.


Melange, with locations in Barnet and Crouch End, has opened a third in Belsize Park. Here co-owner Justina Markauskaite talks about removing the borders between cuisines and why they put family at the centre of everything they do

Toni Krok, who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2007, has set up a charity to help people living with the condition and their families adjust to the challenges it brings.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now