THE critical piece of evidence against a man accused of murdering a six-month-old boy at New Lambton is a report examining the toddler's cause of death and will not be available until at least the end of the year, Newcastle Local Court has heard.
Jie William Smith, 28, has been charged with murder and reckless grievous bodily harm over the death of a baby boy, who allegedly suffered a traumatic head injury while in Mr Smith's care in the early hours of February 9.
Emergency services were called to a home in Fairfield Avenue, New Lambton after the boy went into cardiac arrest. The child was taken to John Hunter Hospital in a critical condition but died late the next day.
Mr Smith, who detectives said had been in a relationship with the boy's mother for six weeks before the alleged assault, was arrested at Budgewoi on February 13.
He was excused from appearing in Newcastle Local Court on Wednesday as DPP solicitor Isabella Maxwell-Williams applied to extend the period of time for the prosecution to file a charge certificate.
Ms Maxwell-Williams told Magistrate Robert Stone the complex nature of the matter meant it had taken longer than usual for detectives to serve a brief of evidence.
"It looks as though the most critical piece of information will be a forensic pathologist's report," Ms Maxwell-Williams said.
She said that report was unlikely to be available until the end of the year due to the complex nature of conducting an autopsy on a child of such a young age.
The boy's mother has been charged with failing to provide for child causing danger of death, concealing a child abuse offence and doing an act intending to pervert the course of justice.
Both matters were adjourned to October 9.