Sophie case jurors to deliver verdict

Sophie Jones
Sophie Jones
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Jurors will today begin to consider whether or not a Blackpool man killed his two-year-old daughter.

Mrs Justice Carr yesterday summed up the evidence in the case of Barry Jones, who is accused of the unlawful killing of his daughter, Sophie.

Preston Crown Court has heard claims that Barry Jones, 42, and his partner Michelle King, Sophie’s mum, put drugs first in their lives, at the expense of caring properly for the daughter.

Sophie Jones died after being rushed to hospital from the family home on Jameson Street, Blackpool after collapsing in March.

She was pronounced dead at hospital, having choked on her vomit from drinking the heroin substitute.

Around a quarter of a pint of methadone was found in a child’s Tom and Jerry drinking cup when police searched the back yard.

A Fruit Shoot bottle also containing the controlled drug was found in a dustbin.

Jones denies manslaughter, an alternative charge of causing or allowing the death of a child and also child neglect.

The jury has been told that Michelle King has admitted manslaughter.

The prosecution have alleged the mother, who was on a methadone prescription, had been stockpiling the liquid to sell it onto other users and buy drugs.

Barry Jones, who made the 999 call for an ambulance, claimed in evidence that he had warned Michelle King about the need to keep her methadone safely stored away.

He spoke of being devastated by Sophie’s death and that he went numb after trying to save his daughter when she collapsed and wasn’t breathing.

He denied taking part in any clean-up operation to hide the methadone.

The jury was due to retire to consider its verdict today.