Bristol

Baby murder accused father 'had post-natal depression'

Mark Bruton-Young leaving Bristol Crown Court
Image caption Mark Bruton-Young denies murdering his six-month-old daughter

A man from Gloucester who said he was suffering from post-natal depression has appeared in court charged with the murder of his baby daughter.

Architect Mark Bruton-Young, 36, from Quedgley, is accused of killing six-month-old Harriet by smothering in June 2009.

Bristol Crown Court heard that Mr Bruton-Young "could not face up to life as a father".

Mr Bruton-Young denies a charge of murder.

The jury heard Mr Bruton-Young had told colleagues he felt "left out since the birth" and that it was a "solely mother-daughter relationship"

It is alleged that in January 2009 he started scouring the internet looking for ways of getting rid of the baby.

At the end of June 2009, Harriet was found dead in her cot.

The prosecution said that information gathered from Mr Bruton-Young's work computer showed that he initially searched for advice on bonding, depression and fatherhood.

'Tense atmosphere'

In the weeks leading up to his daughter's death Mr Bruton-Young is alleged to have begun to search for terms such as "signs of deliberate suffocation" and "how quickly can a baby suffocate?".

The jury heard a recording of the 999 call made by Mark Bruton-Young on 27 June 2009 saying that his baby was dead. His wife Clare could be heard in the background screaming uncontrollably.

The court also heard from the ambulance technicians and paramedics who attended and who described the "tense atmosphere" between Mr and Mrs Bruton-Young.

The court heard that when he went to comfort her she said "get off, you didn't want this baby in the first place".

The case is expected to last at Bristol Crown Court for three weeks.

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