Tayler Mason death: Coroner records open verdict

Oxfordshire Coroner's Court
Oxfordshire Coroner's Court

A coroner has recorded an open verdict after an inquest into the death of 22-month-old toddler Tayler Mason, from Banbury, at Oxford Coroner’s Court today (Tuesday)

Coroner Darren Salter pronounced the verdict after a day-long inquest in which Tayler’s mother Karla Mason broke down several times while giving evidence.

The court heard how the toddler was admitted to the Horton General Hospital on November 5 2010 with bruising to his face and head after Mrs Mason and her husband Craig Mason found him fitting in his cot.

Mr Mason was jailed for 15 months in May 2013 on a charge of neglect after failing to inform authorities Tayler sustained a head injury whilst in his care the day before his admission to hospital.

Evidence from Mr Mason read in court today said Tayler had fallen off a kitchen work surface while Mr Mason turned away from him to move a glass out of harms way.

Mr Salter said he could not record a verdict of accidental death because there were “some gaps and some uncertainties” in the evidence which meant the exact cause of Taler’s injuries could not be proved for certain.

Summing up the medical evidence, Mr Salter said: “The pharmacology tells us there’s been trauma but doesn’t tell us if it’s accidental or the result of assault.”

He concluded the case saying: “Tayler Mason sustained trauma of sufficient force to a pre-exisiting fissure in his skull to cause swelling of the brain that led directly to his death despite treatment at the JR Hospital.”

For the full report see this week’s Banbury Guardian (out Thursday).