Heartbroken mum of Willow Lee speaks out as killer dad is jailed for life
The devastated mum of baby Willow Lee, who was murdered by her dad Jordan Lee, has paid tribute to her 'beautiful' little girl whose cheerful smile would light up the room.
Jade Bell was at work on December 3 when her daughter Willow was violently assaulted by Lee, who was supposed to be looking after her. The four month old suffered a serious head injury, and died at Alder Hey Children's Hospital three days later.
Jordan Lee, 29, of Onslow Road in Layton, was today sentenced to life in prison with a minimum of 16 years after being found guilty of murder at Preston Crown Court.
Miss Bell said: "Willow was such a beautiful happy baby that had the best cheeky smile, and that smile would always cheer you up and light up the room.
"We all miss her dearly and there are not enough words to express that. To have lost her at such a young age and in the way we have has impacted myself and my family so much, and my life will never be the same without my blue-eyed angel.
“The first time anyone met her they instantly fell in love; she was always so happy and smiley. I will always remember the amazing times I had with Willow and how she changed my life. I could talk about her forever and how she will always be my perfect baby and forever my Willow Grace."
READ: 'Remorseless' Blackpool dad Jordan Lee gets life for murder of baby WillowDet insp Mark Dickinson, of the Lancashire police's major investigation team, said: “Willow Lee was a four-month-old baby who died at the hands of someone who should have protected her – her father, Jordan Lee.
“Lee carried out a horrendous series of assaults on his daughter, leaving her with catastrophic head injuries. These injuries led to her death three days later.
“Since then Lee has refused to admit his guilt, claiming repeatedly that Willow fell from the sofa. As the medical evidence emerged, he modified his account, claiming that another accident occurred as he carried Willow upstairs after the original fall.
“Thankfully the jury saw through his lies and he has now been found guilty of and sentenced for Willow’s murder.
“Willow’s mother and wider family have been left utterly heartbroken by her death and I have no doubt they will never fully recover from this horrendous loss. They have also been forced through the ordeal of giving evidence at trial. I can only commend them for the dignified way in which they have conducted themselves. I hope the result from court today gives them some comfort.
“Lee himself is now facing a long custodial sentence and I hope he will use this time to reflect on the damage he has caused to so many lives.”
An NSPCC spokesman said: “Willow was subjected to a horrifying attack by her own father, the very person she was reliant on to keep her safe from harm.
“Jordan Lee must live with the knowledge that the harm he inflicted on his baby daughter ended her life, and we hope Willow’s family are receiving the support they need at this unimaginably difficult time.
“Babies and young children are the most vulnerable members of our society, completely dependent on adults for care, and it is up to every one of us to do what we can to protect them."
Anyone who has concerns for the wellbeing of a child can contact the NSPCC helpline on 0808 8005000.