NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Jury in Aberdeen baby murder case sent home

Mark Simpson, Alexis Matheson and Ilona Sheach
Image caption Mark Simpson denies murdering Alexis Matheson, the daughter of Ilona Sheach

The jury in the case of a man accused of murdering a six-week-old baby girl in Aberdeen has been sent home for the night.

Mark Simpson, 29, denies murdering his then-girlfriend's daughter Alexis Matheson by assaulting her in 2007.

The jury retired at 1147 GMT after being charged by the trial judge, Lord Uist, and was sent home just after 1630 GMT.

The jurors are due to resume their deliberations on Friday morning.

The case began back on 12 October.

Advocate depute Iain McSporran, for the Crown, has urged the jury to convict.

However defence counsel Herbert Kerrigan QC said there was no sufficient corroborating evidence to say Mr Simpson even assaulted the baby.

Mr Simpson is accused of assaulting Alexis between 18 November and 9 December 2007.

He allegedly seized hold of her, shook her and compressed her chest, leaving her so severely injured that she died.

Mr Simpson has claimed during the trial the baby's mother Ilona Sheach played a game called "fishy" where she lay on the floor and held Alexis above her.

He said Ms Sheach regularly shook the baby without supporting her head. However she said she would not have done anything to harm her child.

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