Burns to the skin of a three-year-old inflicted in the weeks before his death could not physically have been caused in a shower, as his mother has suggested, a court heard.

Christina Robinson, 30, is on trial accused of murdering her son Dwelaniyah at their family home in on Bracken Court in Ushaw Moor, County Durham on November 5, 2022, and a charge of child neglect.

The court previously heard the toddler had burns to his legs, buttocks and genitals covering about 15 to 20% of his body, and the prosecution allege Robinson “deliberately immersed” him in “scalding” water.

But the mum, who denies both charges against her, said in interviews after his death that they were caused in the shower.

A burns expert told Newcastle Crown Court on the fourth day of the trial on Monday (March 4) he felt that idea was physically impossible.

Mr Timothy Birch said: "I firmly believe that even if you tried to inflict these injuries with a shower you couldn't do it.

“I just don't think it's physically possible.”

The Northern Echo: Dwelaniyah Robinson.Dwelaniyah Robinson. (Image: PA)

He told the court he was "convinced" Dwelaniyah's burns were from from a "forced immersion" into hot water.

"I would have expected this child to have been obviously in pain and obviously distressed," he continued.

"Every movement would have been painful."

Jurors heard that experts would use special burn dressings for injuries like Dwelaniyah’s, but that if normal bandages were used the pain changing them could be very painful.

"I would expect it to be exceedingly painful. Extremely, obviously, vocally painful.”, Mr Birch said.

Last week the trial heard from Robinson’s extra-marital lover Chisom Innocent Onoja that the Dwelaniyah was ‘limping, squinting and grunting’ as he walked.

Asked if he could conceive any other credible explanation for Dwelaniyah's burns Mr Birch simply replied: "No"

“I have tried, in fairness, and could not see a way in which any alternative such as squatting in the shower could cause these injuries.”

Questioned by defence counsel Mr Jamie Hill about whether the injuries would show immediately, after Mr Birch suggested burns can sometimes not be as painful in the immediate aftermath, Birch replied: "The fact there was a significant injury would have been obvious within a minute".

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Earlier on Monday the court heard from consultant paediatrician Dr Lekshmi Nair who said Dwelaniyah was already dead on arrival at hospital on November 5.

The prosecution alleges she inflicted a fatal head injury but claimed her son had choked on a cheese bun.

The trial continues.