An expert in child abuse and maltreatment testified as the Goforth trial entered its second week.
Kevin and Tammy Goforth are on trial in the murder of a four-year-old and the abuse of a two-year-old who were both in their care in Regina in 2012.
Regina Dr. Sharon Leibel is part of the child abuse unit at Regina Qu’Appelle Health Region. The court has ruled Dr. Leibel can be classed as an expert in her field.
In August 2012, she was called to the General hospital to document and report the injuries seen on the two girls in the case.
Court heard Dr. Leibel first saw the four-year-old in the pediatric intensive care unit.
Dr. Leibel noted bruising, skin abrasions, open skin and scrapes across her body. There was a three-by-one centimetre bruise along the right wrist, front and back. She had ripped skin on her left wrist and similar bruising to the right wrist along with scarring.
In court, the doctor held up photographic evidence to the jury to indicate the particular bruising she described. The mother of the girls sat in the public gallery visibly upset by the testimony being heard. At one point, she had to leave.
Dr. Leibel testified the four-year-old’s legs were very skinny, “skin over bone” with bruising.
On the girl’s back, the doctor stated she had “never seen anything like it”, there were “layers of dead, dry skin” wherever a bone protruded.
She described the girl’s back looking “like buckshot” with lots of dots of open skin all over and in concentrated areas.
The doctor continued to testify to the injuries documented but is not suggesting what caused these injuries.
She can’t guess when the injuries occurred because “healing takes much longer in a sick or malnourished child”.
News Talk Radio’s ongoing coverage of the trial
Goforth Trial Day 1: Tensions run high in courtroom for murder trial of Tammy and Kevin Goforth
Goforth Trial Day 2: Forensic officers testify about condition of home
Goforth Trial Day 4: ‘Skinny with bruises’: first responders testify about finding girls at Goforth trial
Goforth Trial Day 5: Goforth murder trial hears doctor describe efforts to save 4-year-old girl