Lancashire

Daisy Mae Burrill murder: Fleetwood father gets life sentence

Daisy Mae Burrill Image copyright Lancashire Police
Image caption Daisy Mae Burrill's injuries were consistent with being gripped by the legs and swung against a hard surface

A father who violently threw his crying baby on to the sofa in a fit of temper has been jailed for life for her murder.

Two-month-old Daisy Mae Burrill died three days after 31-year-old John Burrill fractured her skull in Fleetwood, Lancashire, on 11 March.

Her injuries were consistent with being gripped by the legs and swung against a hard surface, his trial heard.

Mr Justice James Goss ordered Burrill to serve a minimum of 18 years in jail.

Sentencing, the judge at Preston Crown Court described Daisy Mae's murder as the "grossest breach of trust".

Burrill had "carried out a vicious assault upon a defenceless baby" after smoking cannabis throughout the early hours of the morning while tending to his daughter who would not settle, the Crown Prosecution Service said.

Image copyright Lancashire Police
Image caption John Burrill admitted manslaughter but denied murder

Burrill was found guilty by jury on Tuesday.

He had initially told medical staff and police the infant became limp but he could not explain why.

The court heard the child's mother, Ashlee Cox, described her then-partner as "moody" when he got up to feed the baby at their home in Gordon Road on the morning of 11 March.

Burrill, who admitted manslaughter but denied murder, told the court the baby had initially gone back to sleep but began to cry again.

He told jurors during his trial: "I think the tiredness just took over and I really lost my rag and I threw her down on to the couch."

The baby was taken to Blackpool Victoria Hospital and later transferred to Manchester Children's Hospital, where her life support was switched off on 14 March.

Following sentencing, Ms Cox said: "She was a beautiful baby girl and much loved new addition to the family... who will be forever in their hearts."

She said her family's suffering had been made worse by Burrill's refusal to admit that he alone was responsible for her death.

Ms Cox added: "Although justice has been served it will never bring her back."

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