SCOTT Castle broke down in court as he claimed the first time he found out wife Laura Castle had shaken baby Leiland-James Corkill was when she gave evidence earlier in the trial.

He said he was 'devastated' and 'heartbroken' when he found out and had previously believed the boy had fallen from the sofa, as Mrs Castle initially claimed.

"He was our little boy," he said in the witness box at Preston Crown Court.

"I didn't think that would happen.

"[Laura Castle] was the love of my life. I never thought she would lie to me."

He said, looking back, he should have questioned Mrs Castle about text messages she sent saying she had 'leathered' Leiland-James and calling him abusive names.

Asked by his lawyer Simon Kealey QC if he felt he could have done anything to prevent Leiland-James sustaining the injuries that led to his death on January 6, Mr Castle said: "To be honest I don't know. I never thought it would get to this point."

Mr Castle, 35, said he did not think there was ever a 'risk of serious physical harm' to the one-year-old, saying: "I didn't foresee any of this happening."

He said he believed the version of events Mrs Castle initially told to him and other family members about the incident on January 6 last year because 'I had no reason to doubt her'.

Mr Castle, who was working night shifts at the time, told the court he was asleep wearing an eye mask and earplugs when Mrs Castle woke him up to tell him Leiland-James had fallen off the sofa and hit his head.    

He has denied causing or allowing the death of Leiland-James, originally from Whitehaven, as well as child cruelty.

He told the jury today that he never assaulted or mistreated Leiland-James but admitted the first weeks with the baby were 'tough' because Leiland-James was struggling to settle and it 'felt like we weren't bonding with him'.

Mrs Castle denies murder but accepts manslaughter and now says Leiland-James hit his head on the back of a sofa arm-rest after she shook him and he then fell off her knee on to the floor.

The trial continues.