999 call heard by Leicester court in trial of man accused of murdering a 10-month-old girl
A 999 call made by a man accused of murdering a 10-month-old girl was played in court yesterday.
Mark Burdett phoned emergency services at 12.51pm on July 1 last year, saying Taliqa Fields had suddenly fallen ill and was having difficulty breathing.
The recording was played yesterday, during the second day of the trial at Leicester Crown Court.
The jury heard the ambulance call handler giving Burdett resuscitation advice.
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The defendant was then heard trying to revive the child.
The youngster had suffered brain damage from a head injury and died at the Leicester Royal Infirmary the next day.
Burdett (22) had been in a relationship with Taliqa's mother, Zoe Harman, for about five weeks before the tragedy.
He was babysitting for Taliqa and her two-year-old brother, Daryce, at Miss Harman's home in Drummond Road, off Abbey Lane, Leicester.
In the 999 call, he said his step-daughter had gone limp and was "struggling to breathe".
He told the call handler: "She doesn't seem to be breathing."
Burdett, of Aikman Avenue, New Parks, Leicester, denies murder.
In a police interview, he said the girl was in her baby walker when everything "started going pear-shaped".
He said she began gasping and her lips turned blue. Burdett claimed something similar had happened two or three times previously.
He told officers he had "no idea" why Taliqa had died.
The prosecution alleges he is lying about what happened and that Taliqa was violently shaken and hit on the head.
The youngster was taken ill shortly after Miss Harman finished a college tutorial and rang Burdett to say she was going to McDonald's for something to eat with a former boyfriend.
Yvonne Coen, prosecuting, earlier told the jury: "From the defendant's point of view, he was looking after her children while she was in town, meeting an ex-boyfriend. He was, we suggest, quite likely in a rage.
"He took out his irritation or jealousy on Taliqa."
Miss Harman's sister, Karin Harman, said she had been at the house a day or two before the fatality when Burdett was babysitting.
She said: "She (Taliqa) was screaming and he picked her up out of the baby walker and then put her back in.
"He kicked the walker with her in it and swore at her."
A neighbour claimed, in a statement read out in court, that Burdett had shouted angrily at Daryce in the garden for saying hello to him as he passed.
The child's mother told the jury Burdett got on well with both children and she had no concerns.
She said she was "happy" in the relationship.
In a statement read out, Burdett's mother, Sarah Blower, said she "absolutely believed" her son would never hurt anyone. She said he had helped care for his much younger step-brothers.
The trial continues.