Evie Thomas death: Judge blames father for injuries

Baby Evie Image copyright CAVENDISH
Image caption Evie Thomas died in February 2013

A man acquitted by a jury of fracturing his baby daughter's skull was responsible for inflicting her injuries, a judge has said.

Mr Justice Peter Jackson concluded that 16-week-old Evie, who died in February 2013, had been assaulted by her father Martin Thomas, from Wigan.

She suffered three skull fractures and more than a dozen broken ribs.

The judge made his conclusion public after a family court ruling relating to Mr Thomas and Evie's mother.

'Determined liar'

Lifting the normal reporting restrictions, Mr Justice Jackson said the law would be "a screen to hide the truth" if the father went unnamed.

Mr Thomas had been accused of causing grievous bodily harm.

He was acquitted by a jury at Liverpool Crown Court in October 2014.

Image copyright PAT ISAACS
Image caption A judge decided that Martin Thomas (above) assaulted his baby daughter
Image copyright CAVENDISH
Image caption Evie's mother Hayley Fisher was "entitled to be exonerated", the judge added

But, giving judgement in a custody dispute, Mr Justice Jackson said Mr Thomas was a "determined liar" who, on the balance of probabilities, had caused Evie's injuries.

The girl's mother, Hayley Fisher, was "entitled to be exonerated", he added.

The judge said Miss Fisher had heard Mr Thomas "blame her for Evie's death" and blame another daughter for one of the skull fractures.

In a written ruling, published on Thursday, the senior family court judge said that "sole responsibility of Evie's injuries rests with the father".

He added that the assaults on Evie "significantly contributed" to her death which was "unascertained".

Mr Thomas told BBC North West Tonight's Clare Fallon: "I've been advised not to comment and I feel I have nothing more to say."

Family courts make far-reaching decisions, such as whether children should be taken into care or put up for adoption, or given contact with parents who are divorcing.

In this case, family proceedings took place in 2013 but the judge deferred the decision on the publication of his fact-finding conclusion.

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