London

Father jailed in 13-month-old daughter neglect death case

The father of a 13-month-old baby who died with 70 separate injuries to her body has been jailed for child neglect.

The 43-year-old man was jailed at Woolwich Crown Court for two and a half years, while his wife received a two year suspended sentence.

The couple, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, were found guilty of child neglect in November.

A doctor examining the child found injuries to her ribs, legs, arms and shoulder.

Judge David Tomlinson said the father had made a 999 call in February 2013 only after realising that the child was not showing any signs of life.

He said that even after the emergency services arrived the father was "hoping to prevent the truth from emerging".

The judge dismissed suggestions the girl's siblings may have caused the injuries as "utterly fanciful".

He told the couple: "Whether one of you knew more than the other is a matter of speculation."

'Sustained' assault

He said there were two episodes in the last four weeks of the girl's life in which she received multiple injuries.

She had endured a "sustained" assault and the energy needed to inflict such injuries "would be terrifying to such a young child", the judge noted.

The girl was not responsive when the paramedics arrived and was transported to a south London hospital but pronounced dead later that day, Scotland Yard said.

A post-mortem examination was carried out at Great Ormond Street Hospital and revealed she suffered 70 separate fractures.

The judge told the couple that after those two episodes their child had suffered "pain and distress" which within the initial hours would have been" quite unimaginable in its intensity and which was obvious to you".

It was "quite obvious" that the girl was "suffering acute pain" and other people had noticed that she had turned from an energetic to a lame child who was unable to crawl.

Both parents were arrested but refused to answer any questions during interview.

Police said the mother had taken the girl to see a doctor but had never mentioned the injuries - despite telling friends about the girl suffering from pain when she tried to move her arm or shoulder.

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