The conduct of locum optometrist Honey Rose, 35, fell so far below the standards expected that it was “criminal”, prosecutor Jonathan Rees QC said at the beginning of the trial.
Jurors heard postmortem examinations showed the cause of death was hydrocephalus – a buildup of fluid on the brain which led to an increase in pressure within his skull and, ultimately, his collapse and death.
Opening the prosecution case, Rees said: “The prosecution allege that Vinnie’s death was preventable and would have been prevented had the defendant, Ms Rose, done her job properly.”
He added: “At the heart of the prosecution case against the defendant is the allegation that the defendant’s failure to detect the swollen optic discs and refer Vinnie on for further investigation was grossly negligent on her part.”
Eight-year-old Vincent “Vinnie” Barker died on 13 July 2012 – about five months after he had a routine eye test at Boots opticians in Upper Brook Street, Ipswich.