A jobless man has denied shaking or hitting his girlfriend’s ten-month-old daughter in a fatal Christmas Night attack.
James Hunt told a jury he had never hurt baby Kimberley Barrett in any way and denied losing his temper with her when left to look after the child on his own.
Kimberley died from unsurvivable head injuries four days later which doctors say were caused either by violent shaking or trauma resulting from the baby being thrown down violently it hit against something.
She was taken from her mother Hayley Bradshaw’s flat in Spencer Court, Ottery St Mary, Devon, on Boxing Day evening after falling into a coma.
Hunt gave evidence on the 11th day of his trial at Exeter Crown Court and said he had no idea how Kimberley came to her death.
He denied losing his temper with her on a previous occasion when she allegedly suffered non fatal injuries which caused bleeding inside her head and left a set of three finger-sized bruises on either side of her abdomen.
Hunt, aged 30, of Pellinore Road, Exeter, denies murdering Kimberley at her mother’s flat in Ottery St Mary, at Christmas 2011.
The prosecution say he inflicted the fatal injuries while left alone with Kimberley for less than an hour on Christmas evening while Hayley visited a neighbour who lived on his own.
Hunt told the jury he had been living with Hayley for four months before Christmas and helped her with child care, and has never lost his temper with Kimberley or her five-year-old brother.
He said Kimberley had cried when her mother left her with him to visit a neighbour on Christmas evening but said he gave her a bottle and put her in her cot.
Hunt said he left her but went back to check ten minutes later and found she looked ill.
He said:”She still had the bottle in her mouth and that was when I realised she was not looking right. Her eyes were not right. They were open but not focusing.
“I picked her up and sat her up in the middle of the cot and that was when she fell back and her head hit the back of the cot. She flopped back a few inches onto the back part.
“I picked her up into my arms and realised she could not hold her arms up. She was very floppy and I held her for ten to 15 minutes and that was when she came back round.
“She was not floppy any more at all and her eyes looked the same as when I out her into the cot the first time. She made the normal whingy baby noises.”
He said when Hayley returned he told her Kimberley was asleep and asked her not to disturb her but when she checked her later she was sick and she took her into her own bed for the rest of the night, with him sleeping on the floor.
He said the child seemed listless the next day until her condition deteriorated in the evening. He insisted he was not responsible for Kimberley’s death.
He said:”I never hit or smacked either of Hayley’s children. I never shook or hit Kimberley or do anything to her. I did not do anything on Christmas Day which would have caused her to go floppy.
“The only bruises I saw on her were the ones the doctor saw on her belly a few days before. I never saw any others and I was not responsible for any bruising.”