Ethan Hopson trial: 'Nervous' murder suspect 'kept saying it was his fault'
THE grandfather of baby Ethan Hopson told murder suspect Jason Redgrave not to "blame himself" for the tot's desperately poorly condition, a court heard.
He gave Redgrave a lift to the hospital – and reassured him that "it could have been worse" if he had supposedly not checked on Ethan during the evening.
Ian Hopson spotted that Redgrave was "very nervous" and "edgy" about the baby's plight, the court was told.
It was only later that Redgrave was quizzed by police about his version of how the baby suffered the injuries found on him.
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Redgrave, 25, of Grimsby, denies murdering six-month-old Ethan, between December 16 and 23. He also denies a charge of manslaughter.
The prosecution at Hull Crown Court claims Redgrave repeatedly hit and shook Ethan, causing severe brain damage, while babysitting for his girlfriend, Karly Hopson, the baby's mother, who was out celebrating a friend's birthday on December 17.
He is said to have been feeling "acute annoyance, anger and irritation" towards Ethan because the baby probably started crying while he was sending sexually-charged text messages to another man.
Ethan died at Sheffield Children's Hospital on December 22.
Miss Hopson's father, Ian, said in a statement that he "shot out of bed" after his daughter telephoned her mother, Julie Stephenson, at 11pm. She was screaming and in a panic about Ethan not breathing.
The couple arrived at Miss Hopson's home to see an ambulance being driven away at speed.
"I just turned the car around and headed for hospital," he said.
Miss Hopson was on the telephone to Redgrave at hospital. Mr Hopson later went to collect Redgrave.
"Jason seemed very nervous, edgy and kept saying it was his fault," said Mr Hopson.
"I just said he shouldn't blame himself and it could have been worse if he hadn't checked Ethan. Jason kept repeating that it was his fault and that he should have checked Ethan more often."
The court heard that Miss Hopson had said in a police statement: "Jason was great with Ethan. He was really patient with him."
She had no qualms about leaving her son in Redgrave's care while she went out, she said.
Redgrave's wife, Laura Redgrave, told the court she married him in early 2009 and they were still married now. She met him at college when she was about 16.
She became pregnant and they had a son, who was three at the time of the incident involving Ethan, but they separated in August last year.
After the split, they had arguments but she had no concerns about him spending time with his son.
On December 17, he telephoned her wanting to know where she was going when she went out and with whom. She would not tell him and he tried to find out by talking to their son. Angry words were exchanged.
"It didn't end well," she said.
Redgrave later sent her a text message asking her to contact him urgently. She did so and she found out for the first time that he had been seeing another woman – Miss Hopson. He told her that the baby, Ethan, was not breathing, motionless and not very well.
The case continues.