Baby died after attack by father, court told
A Surrey father fatally assaulted his baby daughter while babysitting her as her mother was on her first night out since the child was born, a court has heard.
Mark Howe, of Wallington, is alleged to have either punched, kicked or stamped on the 18-month-old girl. She was killed by a "severe blow to her stomach" that ruptured part of her gut leaving her slowly dying, a jury was told.
It was not until the next day when her mother returned from a Christmas shopping trip to buy a doll for her daughter that she saw how ill she was.
But in a bid to cover up his attack, Howe stopped his partner from calling an ambulance, the Old Bailey heard. When she went to get help from her own mother, he drove off with the child and was later discovered by police sitting in the vehicle outside a hospital.
Doctors there battled for an hour to save the baby but she was likely to have been already dead when she arrived.
William Boyce QC, prosecuting, said: "It is a tragedy in this case that had she been taken to a doctor, even 12 to 15 hours after he struck the blow, she could have been saved by medical intervention."
Howe, 36, admits causing the injuries from which his daughter died but denies manslaughter. He claims that while babysitting he tripped over a coffee table and fell into her stomach with his outstretched arms.
The baby's "tragically misfortunate" mother was "very protective" of her baby following the loss of a son who was stillborn the year before, the court heard.
She had been reluctant to leave her daughter in Howe's care on the night of Friday December 22, 2006 for a night out with girlfriends but was persuaded to do so by her own mother, said Mr Boyce.
A post-mortem examination showed that the injuries must have been caused by "an assault type injury, by a hard punch to the stomach, a kick, or a stamp", Mr Boyce told the jury.