Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Madison Horn death: Toddler 'brutally attacked in own home'

Kevin Park Image copyright Iain McLellan/Spindrift Photo Agency
Image caption Kevin Park denies murdering Madison at the family home in Kelty, Fife, on 20 April

A prosecutor has told a jury in her closing speech toddler Madison Horn was "brutally attacked in her own home."

Advocate depute Jennifer Bain said there was a compelling circumstantial case against the accused Kevin Park,

Miss Bain said: "Unless Kevin Park is an incredibly unlucky babysitter he caused these injuries."

Mr Park, 27, denies murdering Madison at the family home in Kelty, Fife, on 20 April. Later on Tuesday the jury will hear the defence speech.

At the High Court in Glasgow Miss Bain said: "On April 20, Easter Sunday, Madison Horn was brutally attacked in her home and she was unable to defend herself.

"She was struck again and again until she was covered in bruises, her skull was fractured and she had significant internal injuries. These injuries were unsurvivable."

It is alleged Mr Park pulled Madison's hair, lifted her up and repeatedly struck her head against a wall, bit her on the body and repeatedly struck her on the head and body by means unknown to the prosecutor.

The court has heard Madison, who died from blunt force trauma to her head and abdomen, had 65 separate injuries including a fractured skull, tears to her liver and bruising to her head and body.

Miss Bain added: "The Crown contends these injuries were inflicted on Madison in the course of a brutal attack."

The prosecutor told the jury that medical experts claimed that significant force would have been required to inflict some of the injuries.

She spoke of two dents in the hallway of the house which Madison's mother Ann Marie White said there had not been there before she left the house about 14:00 to go to a friend's birthday party in Cowdenbeath.

Image caption Madison Horn died after being taken to hospital with massive brain and internal injuries

Miss Bain told the jury one of Madison's hairs was found in the cracked plaster in one of the indentations and her DNA was on both the dents.

The prosecutor said: "She was only 90.5cm and the indentations were 149cm and 165cm from the floor. If she was struck against the wall she would have to be raised to that height in some way or by someone.

"Madison Horn had no injuries when her mother left that day."

The court has heard Mr Park called 999 at about 18:00 saying Madison's lips had turned blue.

Miss Bain said: "The 999 call handler said she didn't think he was performing CPR on her. She said she didn't hear anything being done. What could be more important than CPR. Why would he not do everything to save her."

'Question mark'

Defence QC Mark Stewart used his closing speech to urge the jury of nine men and six women to acquit Mr Park.

He described the forensic investigation of the house where Madison died in the case as "substandard" and said there was "a huge question mark" over it.

Mr Stewart also attacked evidence given by a doctor and two pathologists during the trial saying they were dealing in speculation.

He said: "There is not one iota of evidence to suggest an attack on the child.

"The evidence in this case at every stage has flaws and is open to criticism. "

Mr Stewart said that two unusual incidents happened to Madison that day.

The first he said was at about 10:00 or 11:00 when a walking machine fell on her injuring her stomach and the second when a bed she was jumping on collapsed and she fell from it.

He added: "I don't think it is in dispute these two incidents happened where there was potential for an abdominal injury and potential for a head injury."

Preconceptions or suspicions

The QC criticised the forensic team for not examining the walking machine or the furniture in Madison's bedroom.

The defence counsel denied the suggestion that Mr Park was uncaring and added: "It is wrong to suggest that Mr Park was emotionless and not concerned by what happened to the child.

"We heard the 999 call in which he says: 'It's my bairn, it's my bairn. Her lips have gone blue.'

"People respond to situations differently and at the time no-one knew how serious it was."

He told the jury they should not deal in preconceptions or suspicions to come to their decision and added: "The Crown has not proved beyond a reasonable doubt that this child was assaulted or assaulted by Kevin Park."

The trial before judge Michael O'Grady continues.

Judge O'Grady is expected to charge the jury on Wednesday.

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