GAME-MAD DAD 'KILLED BABY'
Twin son 'dead under GameCube fan dad'
A WEEPING mother told yesterday how she found one of her twin baby sons lying dead on a sofa under her computer-mad boyfriend.
Zoe O'Leary, 18, spotted the leg of four-month Byron poking out from beneath sleeping James Tuffs who was said to become enraged if interrupted while playing on his Nintendo GameCube.
She said: "James was lying on him. I started shaking and screaming at him to move. He got up and picked up Byron. I said 'Oh my God you've killed my baby'."
Byron had a fractured skull and two fractured ribs. His brother Tyrese - who was sleeping on the floor - had fractures to his skull, ribs arm and legs. Dad Tuffs, 21, denies manslaughter and cruelty.
Prosecutor Oliver Sells said there was no cause of death for Byron.
But he dismissed Tuffs' claim that the baby suffocated when he fell asleep on top of him, saying: "These serious and extensive injuries were caused by this defendant who must have operated a persistent regime of cruelty."
Tuffs cared for Byron and Tyrese downstairs while Zoe looked after their daughter, Aaliyah, now two, upstairs, Norwich crown court heard.
But he was accused of preferring computer games to his children.
The twins, it was claimed, would regularly fall asleep on the sofa while Tuffs played into the early hours.
Mr Sells said: "You will hear something about his moods - irritable if his games were interrupted, on occasion shouting. He would rather play on the computer than anything else.
"Generally the twins would either be on the sofa or in their bouncy chairs."
Zoe claimed that once Tuffs let rip with a four-letter word outburst because she had stepped in front of his view of a computer game. Before Byron died Tuffs had been excited about buying a new game called True Crimes, the court heard.
The baby, who was "grey and floppy", was pronounced dead at hospital. Two weeks earlier, it was alleged, Tuffs told his girlfriend Tyrese had stopped breathing.
Tuffs said he gave the baby mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.
The boy was taken to a nearby surgery where he was checked and found to be well.
Mr Sells said though health visitors regularly looked in on the family neither child had external injuries. The fractures, which medical experts said could not have been accidental, were revealed by X-ray.
The prosecutor added: "No one, except the person responsible, would have known of these injuries.
"This is nothing to do with shaken baby syndrome and it is nothing to do with cot death. It is about injuries inflicted on these babies."