Man killed his girlfriend's baby in jealous rage, Leicester Crown Court told
A man killed his girlfriend's 10-month-old baby when he violently shook her and hit her on the head while in a rage, a court heard.
Louis Burdett, who was babysitting, allegedly carried out the attack within minutes of his partner telling him she was going to McDonald's with an ex-boyfriend.
Taliqa Fields sustained brain damage at her home in Drummond Road, off Abbey Lane, Leicester. She died in hospital the next day. Burdett (22), of Aikman Avenue, New Parks, Leicester, denies murdering Taliqa on July 2 last year.
Yvonne Coen QC, prosecuting, told Leicester Crown Court: "From the defendant's point of view he was looking after her children whilst she was in town, meeting an ex-boyfriend in McDonald's.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
"He was, we suggest, quite likely in a rage. He took out his irritation or jealousy on Taliqa and inflicted a serious head injury in what, according to doctors' opinions, was a sustained assault. It was caused by his grabbing her and shaking her and causing her head to come into contact with something hard, by a direct blow or moving her head, causing it to make contact.
"She also had a fractured left collarbone. He must have known he'd caused serious harm."
Miss Coen said: "Burdett says he didn't harm her and didn't cause her any injury, but that she simply stopped breathing and collapsed."
The baby suffered swelling and bleeding on the brain and bruising to her head.
Miss Coen said: "The distribution of the injuries suggests she was gripped and shaken and came into contact with a hard surface."
She alleged the broken collarbone could have been caused by grabbing or swinging the child by her arm, and not by Burdett trying to revive her, as he claimed.
Taliqa's two-year-old brother was asleep upstairs at the time of the assault. He was described as boisterous and had been put on the "naughty step" several times by his mother for biting his baby sister, the court was told.
Miss Coen alleged Burdett lied to medical staff and police about what happened.
Taliqa's mother, Zoe Harman, began a relationship with Burdett about five weeks before the tragedy, in May last year.
She had known him since she was about 17. Burdett was virtually living at her home by the time of the alleged incident.
Miss Harman told the jury Burdett helped with the children, she never saw him lose his temper with them and had no concerns about leaving them in his care. He had agreed to look after the youngsters while she attended a course. Miss Harman's tutorial finished early at midday on July 1 and she arranged to meet a former childhood sweetheart she had bumped into on a bus.
She said she told Burdett about the meeting and he had not minded when she suggested the friend visit the house.
However, when she rang Burdett at 12.37pm, saying she was going to McDonald's with her old flame, Burdett allegedly appeared "grumpy".
Miss Harman believed he was more annoyed at missing out on a burger, than being jealous.
Because of his attitude they quickly had some food and both left for her home by bus.
By 12.51pm Burdett had dialled 999, saying his step-daughter "had gone limp and was struggling to breathe."
Miss Harman returned to see an ambulance stop outside her home and went with her daughter to Leicester Royal Infirmary, where she was put into intensive care.
Under cross-examination, she agreed with a defence suggestion by Frances Oldham QC that she described Burdett to police as being "a better father" to the children than their real dad.
The trial continues.