Dad guilty of killing baby daughter after suffered ‘series of injuries’

A dad has been found guilty of the manslaughter of his baby daughter after she was rushed to hospital with a "catalogue" of injuries.

Jurors found Daniel Ashurst, 33, guilty of manslaughter after he rushed into a doctor's surgery with the limp body of his 14-month-old daughter Hollie.

The little girl was later rushed to hospital with a “catalogue” of injuries and later died.

During the Manchester Crown Court trial, Ashurst claimed Hollie’s injuries were caused by a series of falls at the family's home in Wigan.

He had previously told a mental health nurse he feared he would struggle to look after Hollie when his partner Leanne Thompson returned to work.

The 33-year-old had given medics different accounts about how his daughter came about her injuries and was arrested on suspicion of infliction serious harm on Hollie.

He told one doctor she had fallen down two steps, then claimed she had started crying and so he put her in his car to take her to hospital.

During the journey he said she had stopped breathing so diverted to the surgery but then told a paramedic she had bumped her head after falling down stairs.

Ashurst said he did not initially think she was badly hurt but realised something was wrong when Hollie became limp.

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He then changed his version of events, claiming Hollie had fallen out of a bed at their home in Fleming Court, Shevington after he left her upstairs.

The dad said he returned to find her shaking from "head to toe" on the staircase and said that as he hurried downstairs with her, he snagged his shorts and lost his grip on Hollie.

Ashurst then claimed Hollie had also fallen from her car seat when he braked hard at a red light which prosecutors claim was a "recent invention".

A post-mortem examination revealed Hollie had suffered bruising to her head and neck, bleeding to her eyes, brain and spinal cord; a fractured ankle, and possible bite marks to her left hand and thigh.

Pathologist Dr Charles Wilson told the court he believed the child had been the subject of 'non-accidental injury involving excessive acceleration and deceleration of her head in relation to the rest of her body, with multiple impacts to her head and face'.

On the morning of Hollie's death Ashurst had dropped Ms Thompson at work before driving to Asda in Wigan with his daughter.

He had taken 12 photographs of Hollie eating breakfast at a Max Spielmann concession.

Ashurst then returned home but left the house again at 1.30pm before he rushed Hollie to Wigan Infirmary.

The dad had previously been taking medication for depression and anxiety for several years and used cocaine and drank alcohol most evenings to help him "relax," the trial heard.

Mr Justice Dove will sentence Ashurst next Wednesday on February 26th.

  • Crime

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