Waiter Liam Whoriskey, 25, of Glenabbey Gardens, Derry, denies murdering Kayden McGuinness in September 2017.
The BBC reports that Forensic Medical Officer Dr Amanda Burns told Derry Crown Court that after examining the scene she told police the child “did not die of natural causes.”
She said some of the injuries may have contributed to the child’s death.
Giving evidence on the fifth day of the trial, Dr Burns said she arrived at the family home in Colmcille Court, Derry, at 12 15 pm and left at 2 pm.
“To be quite honest I was quite horrified at some of the scenes in the flat,” said Dr Burns.
“To me it was almost like a staged scene of neglect indicating a high level of neglect in that household,” she said.
The doctor told jurors she noted a a catalogue of injuries to the child’s facial area including four linear bruises to the right side of the neck which were 3, 5, 6 and 7 centimetres in length and between 1 and one-and-a-half centimetres wide.
She said she was able to place her hand over the area of the linear bruises.
Dr Burns said it was difficult to age the injuries.
But she believed they’d been sustained between 24 hours and 72 hours earlier.
Rigour mortis had set in, she told the court.
“I believe the child died at some stage during the night but I can’t say if it was midnight or at three in the morning”, she said.
Dr Burns told the court the flat was in a dishevelled condition.She said there was beer cans laying around and a knife and screwdriver visible to her.
She saw a glass tankard containing a brown odourless liquid and in a second bedroom next to where the child’s body was found she saw a badminton racquet on the bed.
The court has previously heard a post-mortem examination revealed Kayden had sustained multiple injuries and bruising.
There were at least 15 non-accidental bruises to the child’s scalp, which had been caused by blunt force trauma to the head. The toddler also had a fractured rib.
Under cross examination from defence counsel Ciaran Mallon QC, Dr Burns said she did not see obvious injuries to the child’s scalp as her inspection of the body was a visual one and she did not want to move the body.
She said she could not disagree with pathological evidence that the bruising could have been 72 hours old.
When informed by the defence barrister that the toddler’s mother Erin McLaughlin had said her son would injure himself by jumping from a window sill or television stand up to 50 times a day, Dr Burns said a child with behavioural issues could be more active and sustain injuries as a result of their over activity.