Father jailed for seven years for killing his baby daughter

A father has been sentenced to seven years imprisonment for killing his vulnerable nine-week-old daughter.

Adam Stokes, 33, of Runfold, Luton, "violently mishandled" his baby Scarlett Stokes-Craig, causing a bleed on the brain, a court has previously heard.

Stokes was found guilty of Scarlett's unlawful killing by a jury at Luton Crown Court last month.

Mrs Justice Maura McGowan, sentencing at the Old Bailey, told Stokes: "Whatever you did, it caused the death of Scarlett and you will have to live with the fact that you killed your daughter for the rest of your life. "

Scarlett was taken to Luton and Dunstable Hospital with head injuries and then transferred to the Great Ormond Street Hospital in London the same day.

After staying in hospital for 10 days, life support was withdrawn on January 24, 2013.

Experts concluded that her injuries had been a result of Stokes mishandling Scarlett.

The judge told Stokes: "On that morning something caused you to treat her with an unacceptable level of force. It is likely that you shook her having lost your temper for some reason."

The judge said she accepted that his violent attack was "brief" and "unintended" against the "placid" little baby. 

But she told him: "Whilst what you did  took only a matter of a moment you caused serious injury that despite the care of Luton and Dunstable Hospital and Great Ormond Street Hospital Scarlett sadly died.

"She was vulnerable, only nine months old, and trusted to your care. She was your daughter and your duty was to protect and cherish her - in these few brief moments you failed."

The baby had been born with a birth defect but this had been rectified with surgery. 

 The judge said "there was no reason to think that she would not have grown up to be a happy little girl."

The court heard that Stokes had been happy about becoming a father and that he had usually had a loving relationship with the baby.

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