Friend says man admitted to shaking son

By Sue Yanagisawa
Local News - Saturday, December 11, 2004 @ 07:00

A high school friend and former neighbour of Lucas Landry testified yesterday that Landry told him he’d shaken his infant son, one day after the boy was taken to hospital.

Landry is on trial at the Superior Court of Justice, charged with aggravated assault in connection with his son’s injuries. He’s pleaded not guilty.

Neil Mayo, who once lived in the same Bath Road apartment building as Landry and his partner, told the jury he’s known Landry since high school and that they were the best of friends in 2002.

He testified that he and his girlfriend and Landry and his partner socialized frequently and that he saw Landry’s child about “every other day” and babysat for them once or twice.

Mayo, who now lives in Barrie, couldn’t recall when he last saw the

baby before the child was hospitalized, but guessed it had been a few days earlier. He said he didn’t recall anything abnormal about the boy at that time.

Mayo’s former girlfriend, Lisa Kennedy, thought she’d seen the baby two days before he was hospitalized, on April 4, and also recalled nothing wrong with his health.

The Crown’s theory is that the baby’s injuries were inflicted April 5, two days before he was hospitalized, while his mother was at the Social Services offices and the baby was alone with his father.

Jennifer Stableford, 23, told the jury that the baby’s mother was concerned about her son’s condition by the evening of April 6. The man Stableford was dating at the time worked with Landry on night shifts at the same restaurant, so she said she’d brought her own son, just shy of one-month-old at the time, to visit with Landry’s partner around supper time.

Landry’s son “wasn’t eating that night,” she recalled, and his mother was becoming more worried.

The women called the Telehealth line and the service said the boy should be taken to a hospital.

After the men finished work, Stableford’s boyfriend drove Landry, his partner and their baby to KGH shortly after midnight.

Kennedy testified that she and Mayo saw Landry and his partner on the evening of April 7. Their baby wasn’t at home with them and she was surprised that Landry was, because he usually worked Sunday nights. Kennedy said Landry told her he had the day off and the baby “was gone to the grandmother’s house for the weekend.”

Mayo said they didn’t learn that Landry’s son was in hospital until the next day, April 8. It was then, he told the court, that Landry described his son’s injuries and what the doctors had said about shaken baby syndrome.

“I was really annoyed,” he recalled, “because somebody had hurt [Landry’s son] and that’s a line you don’t cross.”

Mayo testified that Landry told him that he’d already admitted to the doctors and police that he’d shaken the infant, and then Mayo demonstrated how Landry mimed holding the boy under the armpits and briefly moved him back and forth.

Mayo told the jury that Landry also said, “he was told that couldn’t have caused the injuries. It had to be something more severe.”

Kennedy, who testified that she met Landry and his partner through Mayo but were just casual friends, said Landry made the same admission to her. She recalled being alarmed and asking him what he’d done, and Landry demonstrated how he’d shaken the boy.

Under questioning by Bonnie Turner, co-defence counsel, Mayo said of the admission that “it made me wonder if that had caused the injuries. But then he told me that couldn’t have caused the injuries,” and he said he took Landry’s word.

So when police questioned him on April 10, “they didn’t ask me that question,” and he said it didn’t occur to him to volunteer the information.

Dr. Ellen Tsai, medical director of the pediatric intensive care service at KGH told the jury that she was the attending physician to Landry’s son and he never admitted to her that he’d shaken the boy.

Tsai made notes on the demeanor of both parents and testified that the baby’s mother appeared “sad” and asked many questions when she met with them. Landry was quiet, she said, and didn’t maintain eye contact.

She told the jury that the couple’s child spent 18 days in hospital and 11 days after his arrival had to have a shunt implanted to relieve pressure on his brain.

Mayo disclosed that he hasn’t talked to Landry since leaving Kingston and the last time he spoke to the baby’s mother, he said was “the night I kicked her out of my apartment.” After her son was hospitalized, he explained, she moved in with him and his girlfriend and a week or two later when he told her she’d have to leave “she punched out one of the windows.”

Mayo said Landry has a temper as well, and recalled seeing him punch a wall about 10 years ago.

He and Kennedy remembered both parents complaining about their baby’s crying and Mayo said they were both “just exhausted.”

The trial continues at the Frontenac County Court House on Monday.