Tuesday, 19 Aug, 2008 Offbeat
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Father Who Was Left Babysitting Killed His 18-months-old Baby Daughter

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A father killed his 18-months-old daughter after the baby's mother left her for the first time since the child was born. Mark Howe was babysitting when the accident happened.

A jury was told that the baby girl was killed after a severe blow to her stomach that ripped part of her gut.

The baby's mother returned only the day after to discover how ill her baby was. She was on a Christmas shopping trip and bought a doll for her daughter (whose cannot be named). Howe wanted to cover up what he has done, which is why he asked his partner not to call an ambulance.

After the baby's mother went to her own mother to get help, Howe drove off with the girl and later police spotted him sitting in his car outside a hospital. Doctors tried to save the child's life but the baby was probably dead when she was brought to the hospital.

According to William Boyce QC, the baby could have been saved if immediate actions were taken. The 36-year-old Howe denies manslaughter, but admits and he was the one to cause serious injuries to the baby. He said that he stumbled over a coffee table and then fell on the baby's stomach with outstretched arms.

The child's mother tried to protect her baby as much as possible after she lost her son who was stillborn in 2005. Mother did not want to leave her baby in Howe's care on the day she went out with her girlfriends, but her own mother persuaded her to do so. For legal reasons her name was not unveiled. When she returned home after the party she noticed Howe sitting and watching television. It is believed that by that time the baby had a very strong blow to the stomach.

The child felt sick during the night but in the morning her mother saw that the baby was alright and she went shopping. Mr Boyce said that when mother returned home the child was "unresponsive and floppy". She started worrying about the baby and wanted to call an ambulance but Howe tried to persuade her that there was no need to do that. Then he drove the baby from home. After a post-mortem examination it was found that the injuries were most probably caused by "a hard punch to the stomach, a kick, or a stamp".

At first the man told the police that the baby was fine but later told his partner that he fell of the baby's stomach after losing his balance. He added that he lost his balance because he was "drinking and smoking".

Source: DailyMail

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