Father to be sentenced for murder of two-month old baby Daisy-Mae


A father who said he violently threw his crying baby daughter onto the sofa in a fit of temper will today be sentenced for her murder.

John Burrill, 31, admitted his actions led to two-month-old Daisy-Mae suffering a fractured skull and brain damage, but he denied intending to kill or at least cause really serious harm to her at the family home in Fleetwood, Lancashire.

However, a jury at Preston Crown Court disagreed and unanimously found him guilty after just over an hour of deliberations on Tuesday.

The court had heard that Burrill's then-partner Ashlee Cox, mother of Daisy-Mae, described him as "moody" when he got up to feed her in the early hours of March 11 at their home in Warren Street.

Burrill told the court the baby had gone back to sleep by the time he got downstairs but began to cry again, so he picked her up.

He then admitted he lost his temper "quite a lot" and added: "I think the tiredness just took over and I really lost my rag and I threw her down onto the couch."

The defendant could not explain the extent of the injuries which the prosecution said were consistent with Daisy-Mae being gripped by the legs and swung against a hard surface.

Daisy-Mae was rushed to hospital after she went into cardiac arrest before a decision was made to turn off her life support machine on March 14.

The court heard Burrill did not admit causing her injuries until shortly before the trial got under way

The B&M Bargains store worker initially told medical staff and police that Daisy-Mae became limp while downstairs and he could not explain why.

In his closing speech to the jury, Andrew O'Byrne QC said the defendant had lied repeatedly to "save his own skin".

He said: "Poor Daisy-Mae made the fateful error. The child cried and irritated her father. He lost his temper and he hurt her and he killed her.

"I am sure that he now regrets it, but that is the cold and brutal truth."

Mr Justice Goss told the defendant he now faces a life prison term.

Sentencing is due to take place this afternoon.