Taliqa's killer Louis Burdett jailed for life at Leicester Crown Court
A man was yesterday jailed for life after he was found guilty of murdering his girlfriend's baby when he violently shook her while in a rage.
Louis Burdett, of Aikman Avenue, New Parks, Leicester, was babysitting 10-month-old Taliqa Fields when he launched his attack after she interrupted his computer game.
Leicester Crown Court heard he snapped within minutes of his partner Zoe Harman telling him she was going to McDonalds with an ex-boyfriend.
A jury yesterday unanimously found him guilty of murder and Burdett was given a life sentence, with a minimum of 13 years in prison.
In a statement released after the verdict and sentencing, Taliqa's parents, Zoe and Jason, said: "Every day is incredibly hard to get through.
"We used to get up in the morning and bath and dress her and now we have none of that as it was taken away from us. Some days we struggle to even get out of bed. We feel lost.
"Seeing our family and friends playing with their children can be really hard as it brings back so many memories for us. It should be us sat there playing with Taliqa and it is really heartbreaking that we can't.
"In her short life Taliqa brought so much happiness to us. She was a lovely girl who loved dancing and was always happy and smiling. We have so many fond memories of her.
"What happened is such a waste of a life – she was just 10 months old."
Burdett attacked Taliqa at her home in Drummond Road, off Abbey Lane, Leicester, on July 2, last year.
Justice Flaux said nobody but Burdett will know exactly how he killed Taliqa, but that it is likely he shook her, causing her head to strike something hard, and that he broke her collarbone by grabbing or swinging the child by her arm.
Burdett (22) denied murder and said the baby had gone limp while he was caring for her and he did not know how she suffered fatal brain damage.
The court heard how he had dialled 999, saying the youngster had "gone limp and was struggling to breathe".
Miss Harman returned to see an ambulance outside her home and went with her daughter to Leicester Royal Infirmary, where she was put into intensive care and died.
Sentencing him, High Court Judge, Mr Justice Flaux said: "Within the short time you lived with Zoe she came to rely upon you and trusted you to look after her two children.
"What's clear was you were more interested in playing your games on the Xbox than looking after her children.
"She [Taliqa] interrupted your game and she got on your nerves. The catalyst for your violence was shockingly mundane."
He said Burdett was angry and resentful at being left at home looking after Miss Harman's children while she went out to eat.
"You took out that anger and resentment on the baby, who you accepted, in your evidence, was a sitting target," he said.
Justice Flaux told Burdett he had shown no remorse for his actions.
He said: "You have deprived them [Taliqa's family] of their beautiful little girl and that opportunity of seeing her grow up and blossom into a young woman."
In mitigation, Frances Oldham QC said Burdett was young and had a good relationship with his family. The attack was not premeditated.