Baby murder accused dad tells partner: ‘They will try to pin it on me’



A dad accused of murdering his baby daughter when she would not stop crying at night told his partner “they will try to pin it on me” as they travelled to hospital for their daughter to be treated.

John Burrill, 30, and the baby’s mum Ashlee Cox, 29, were taken to hospital in a separate ambulance to their two-month-old daughter Daisy-Mae, when she suffered a fractured skull and brain damage at their home in Fleetwood.

On the way to hospital Burrill said he had no idea what happened to Daisy-Mae or why she had stopped breathing but told his partner: “If one of Daisy’s hairs is on the remote, they’ll try and pin it on me”, Preston Crown Court was told.

Doctors examined the little girl and said she suffered non-accidental injuries, consistent with being subjected to a violent attack.

The tot suffered a fractured skull, bleed to the brain and went into cardiac arrest as a result of her injuries.

Daisy-Mae was transferred from Blackpool Victoria Hospital to Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital but when her condition deteriorated on March 14 the life support machine was turned off.

Burrill maintained he did not understand how the baby had suffered such serious injuries.

Miss Cox, who was upstairs at the time Daisy was injured, said: “I did ask him what had happened and he just said he didn’t know.”

Miss Cox spoke quietly from the witness box at Preston Crown Court as she described difficult living conditions in their damp, terraced home, with little family support in March this year.

Daisy-Mae was a “cry-ey” baby who was difficult to settle and would wake the family – who all slept in a single bedroom – several times a night.

Her partner Burrill smoked cannabis from morning till night putting extra strain on the family finances, she told the court.

Burrill would get stressed and punch walls but had never been violent to Miss Cox or her daughter, she said.

But when Daisy was three weeks old, Miss Cox was worried Burrill picked Daisy up “a bit roughly” and took the baby from him.

On the first day of the trial at Preston Crown Court, Burrill, of Gordon Road, Fleetwood, admitted for the first time he had caused Daisy-Mae’s injuries when he threw her on a sofa in frustration, and she had banged her head on something hard.

He admits his actions amounted to manslaughter but denies murder, or intentionally causing really serious harm to the tot.

Prosecutors say Burrill “violently” assaulted the baby.