A caregiver, in a recorded police interview, has described the frightening moments when a 6-month-old child in her care lost consciousness.

The professional caregiver, who has name suppression, is facing a judge-alone trial before Judge Geoff Rea in the Napier District Court on two counts of causing grievous bodily harm with reckless disregard for the safety of the child.

Emergency services were called to her house twice in 2017 after the baby showed symptoms of a seizure.

On January 9, the boy was rushed to Hawke's Bay Hospital after only hours of being put in the woman's care.


His father also rushed to the scene and said his son "looked dead" when he saw him.

In the interview the woman told police she noticed the baby "went limp" while in his highchair.

She had given him a few mouthfuls of food beforehand and gave him the plastic spoon to play with while she went to the sink to wash up.

She noticed he kept putting the spoon "too far" into his mouth and took it off him.

She told police that he "packed a hissy fit" when she took it off him and wouldn't stop crying.

When she realised he wasn't going to stop she went to remove him from the highchair and noticed he wasn't himself.

"When I started to make moves to get him out of the highchair, he had gone floppy," she said.

When paramedics arrived she said the baby was "white as a sheet".


He was assessed at Hawke's Bay Hospital and discharged two hours later, but after vomiting three times, he was rushed back again.

Medical experts said his symptoms matched to those of a seizure.

The court also heard how the worried caregiver phoned the boy's mother in the early hours of the morning on January 10, explaining how she had struck the baby on the chest harder than she should in an attempt to rouse him and was concerned it might have had something to do with the baby's condition - but the mother reassured her it was not.

On January 24, the carer called the emergency services again, after he appeared "floppy" and quiet.

Again, he was rushed to hospital in a deeply unconscious state, before being transferred to Starship Hospital in Auckland where he was found to have suffered a number of injuries, undergoing surgery as a result.

Earlier this week the court heard from retinal specialist Andrea Vincent, who examined the boy in Auckland, She said he had suffered extensive retinal haemorrhages to both eyes "too numerous to count".

This was again confirmed by Starship Hospital paediatrician Bronwyn Rosie today.

Another medical specialist told the court the injuries of the baby matched to those of shaking.

A neighbour of the caregiver said she went to the house on January 24 after seeing two ambulances arriving in the late afternoon.

She said she found the woman "stressed out and crying" with the baby in her arms, while she was still on the phone to emergency services.

"She asked if I could take the other kids into the conservatory. She told me that she gave him half a teaspoon of food. He was in the bouncer, then he all went quiet, she turned and picked him up and he was floppy."

Another witness told the court that the caregiver had taken a group of four children, including the baby on an outing earlier to swimming pools in Napier earlier that day.

The witness said other care groups also attended and didn't notice anything out of the ordinary about the caregiver's behaviour during the day out - but offered assistance when the 6-month-old wasn't settling.

"She became a little flustered as she was trying to help the other kids have morning tea, so I held him for about 20 minutes."

She said the baby was unsettled and grizzly, but noted that some babies going into care often had strong attachments to their parents and took time to adjust to carers.

She told the court that the caregiver seemed to be "a bit stressed" but was happy to take advice from the other carers during the outing.

The trial is expected to conclude on Thursday.