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Roland Dow, 28, at left, speaks to defense lawyer Tom Gleason in Rockingham County Superior Court. (JAMES A. KIMBLE)

Doctor testifies about Plaistow tot's injuries

BRENTWOOD — During Roland Dow’s trial Tuesday, a jury heard from a doctor who specializes in child abuse cases and a triage nurse about injuries 3-year-old James Nicholson suffered.

Dow, 28, of Plaistow listened to the testimony unfazed as his trial on first- and second-degree assault charges entered its fifth day in Rockingham County Superior Court. Dow is accused of battering and bruising James, the toddler son of his girlfriend, Jessica Linscott, between September and November 2012.

Dr. Wendy Gladstone, a pediatrician who specializes in child abuse cases, testified about her examination of the child after Dow and Linscott brought him to Exeter Hospital.

Gladstone said James had bruises all over his body. She concluded that the boy could not see because of an eye injury and swelling.

“He couldn’t see anything put in front of him. He had multiple injuries. Obviously some had been inflicted. His behavior was very abnormal for a 3-year-old,” Gladstone said.

The eye injury included swelling and a scratch to one cornea, according to Gladstone. Dow was present in the hospital at the time of the examination along with the toddler’s mother.

Linscott, 24, of Plaistow is serving a 2½- to 7-year prison term for witness tampering and endangering the welfare of a child.

She testified as the state’s star witness and has been accused by Dow’s defense team as being the one who abused her son.

Asked about Dow and Linscott’s reaction to the boy’s injuries during the exam, Gladstone said, “I didn’t see either one try to comfort James.”

Shortly after James arrived at Exeter Hospital, he was transferred to Dartmouth-Hitchcock because of the severity of his injuries. Dow and Linscott fled the state after being interviewed by police.

The couple was apprehended at Universal Studios in Orlando, Fla., on Nov. 28, 2012.

Jodie Russo-Dill, a registered nurse at Exeter Hospital, testified that she was working as a triage nurse when James was brought in on Nov. 15, 2012.

“Initially, I noticed his eyes,” Russo-Dill said. “That was the first thing I noticed when he came in. His eyes were dilated and his eyes were crossed.”

Testimony is expected to resume on Wednesday.

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