The only sign of outward injury to twin baby Karlos Stephens was a small bruise at the base of his back, but there was bleeding inside his skull and even more extensive bleeding behind his eyes, an autopsy revealed.

This was the evidence US-trained forensic pathologist Dr Paul Morrow gave in the High Court at Rotorua this morning where Shane Claude Roberts, 60, is on trial charged with the murder of 10-month-old Karlos Stephens at Rotorua between November 29 and 30, 2014.

He denied the charge when the trial opened a week ago.

Morrow was the only witness to give evidence today.


Justice Mathew Muir adjourned the trial until tomorrow when the Crown will call a specialist in forensic medicine who will be testifying from Edinburgh by an audio-visual link.

Taking the stand this morning, Morrow outlined the findings of an autopsy he conducted on Karlos' body on December 1 2014.

This revealed his brain appeared slightly swollen and there was bleeding between the brain's protective membranes and some veins in that area had contained small blood clots.

Shane Claude Roberts is accused of the murder of baby Karlos Stephens. Photo / File
Shane Claude Roberts is accused of the murder of baby Karlos Stephens. Photo / File

Morrow also discovered extensive bleeding behind both the baby's eyes. He said what he found would have had to have been caused by some form of force.

The cause of Karlos' death had been that the blood and oxygen supply to his brain had been cut off.

Questioned by Crown solicitor Amanda Gordon about the bruise on the infant's back, Morrow said when he microscopically examined tissue from the area he found it was the combination of a possible, common birthmark and a small haemorrhage.

Murder accused Shane Claude Roberts not baby Karlos Stephens' biological father, jury told
Shane Claude Roberts denies the murder of baby Karlos Stephens
Mum testifies in trial of man accused of baby Karlos Stephens murder
Shane Claude Roberts denies the murder of baby Karlos Stephens

Told evidence had been given that in a day or so before he died Karlos had shown signs of getting the flu, the doctor confirmed he'd found the presence of an upper respiratory tract infection, however, that had no bearing on Karlos' death


He also agreed with earlier witnesses that Karlos had started to teethe.

During the course of the trial the six-man six-woman jury had heard Roberts had taken over the care of Karlos and his twin Hosea from their birth mother, Pamela Stephens about mid 2014.

Stephens gave evidence she was struggling with postnatal depression and was unable to cope with them as well as other children after she moved out of her mother's home.

The jury had also heard Roberts was co-parenting the children with his former wife, Rachael Broughton, who lived in Homedale St not far from the Alison St home they'd previously shared.

She offered Roberts the use of her home to care for the twins while they were away because there was no power at the Alison St property.

There's been evidence from Stephens that she stayed alone at Alison St that weekend and that Roberts had arrived around 7.30am on November 30 with a floppy Karlos.

She contended he instructed her to say the baby had died from cot death.

In a statement to a detective about Karlos' death, Roberts claimed he and the twins had been at Alison St all night from November 29 to 30, that he had given the infant orange juice early on the Sunday morning, put him face down on a mattress, and when he returned a short while later he was floppy "but looked normal".

He and Stephens took the infant to hospital where he was unable to be revived.

The trial continues.