Lancashire

Amelia Crichton baby murder: 'Self-centred' mother jailed

Amelia Crichton Image copyright Family handout
Image caption Amelia Crichton suffered "catastrophic" injuries at the hands of her mother Jennifer

A "self-centred, manipulative" mother who murdered her seven-month-old baby has been jailed for more than 21 years.

Jennifer Crichton attacked Amelia at home in Leyland, Lancashire, two days before the baby's death in April 2017.

Sentencing her, Mr Justice Holgate said he was sure Crichton had forced either Amelia "down to the ground or she struck her head on to a hard surface".

The 35-year-old was jailed for life at Liverpool Crown Court and ordered to serve a minimum of 21 years six months.

She was found guilty of murder, as well as three counts of causing grievous bodily harm with intent and one of child cruelty against another child, at a trial in February.

The court heard that a social worker had visited Crichton before the attack on 19 April 2017.

During the visit, she had refused to take over feeding Amelia and instead went for a cigarette.

An hour and 20 minutes after the worker left, Crichton called 999 and told the call handler her daughter had stopped breathing.

Image copyright Lancashire Constabulary
Image caption The prosecution said Crichton had "shown no remorse" for what she had done

Amelia was rushed to Royal Manchester Children's Hospital, where she died two days later after doctors concluded she would not recover from her "catastrophic" injuries.

A post-mortem examination revealed she had died as a result of head injuries.

Offering mitigation, Simon Jackson QC said Crichton was a "vulnerable woman unable to cope, ultimately, with the pressures of motherhood".

Delivering the sentence, Mr Justice Holgate said Amelia's death had a "devastating effect" on the rest of her family.

"Their pain over losing a much-loved young child and her life being so cruelly cut short will endure," he said.

The judge described Crichton as "self-centred, deceitful, manipulative and lacking in any real remorse".

Speaking after sentencing, senior crown prosecutor Brett Gerrity said although Crichton pleaded guilty to manslaughter during her trial, that was not accepted as "we were satisfied that the injuries which led to her death were deliberately inflicted".

He added that Crichton had "shown no remorse" and had "refused to explain... how Amelia was fatally injured".

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