Monday 21 August 2017

Father brutally killed daughter after smashing her head repeatedly against wall on Christmas Day

Undated handout photo issued by Avon and Somerset Police of Lee Parker who has been found guilty at Bristol Crown Court, of murdering his six-month-old daughter Aya.
Undated handout photo issued by Avon and Somerset Police of Lee Parker who has been found guilty at Bristol Crown Court, of murdering his six-month-old daughter Aya.
Undated handout photo issued by Avon and Somerset Police of Aya as her father Lee Parker has been found guilty at Bristol Crown Court, of murdering his six-month-old daughter.

A cruel father is facing life imprisonment after brutally murdering his six-month-old daughter on Christmas Day.

Lee Parker, 33, repeatedly struck baby Aya's head against a bathroom door and wall in a fit of temper after drinking heavily on Christmas Eve.

Trial judge Mr Justice Phillips remanded him into custody on Monday, telling him he will pass his "inevitable sentence" on Tuesday.

Bristol Crown Court heard that Aya's mother Zofia Kucharczyk left Parker looking after their daughter while she went out for the night with her new partner and his parents.

Miss Kucharczyk planned to return to the flat on Christmas morning, with Parker leaving to spend the rest of the day with a friend in Melksham, Wiltshire.

Parker alerted emergency services at 1am on Christmas Day, a short time after he attacked Aya.

Richard Smith QC, prosecuting, said the defendant had never explained what happened, so the police were "very much in the dark" and pieced together what may have happened from forensic and medical evidence.

"Between 6pm on Christmas Eve and 1am on Christmas Day morning, when this defendant made the 999 call, he inflicted grievous and fatal injuries on his own baby daughter," Mr Smith said.

Undated handout photo issued by Avon and Somerset Police of Aya as her father Lee Parker has been found guilty at Bristol Crown Court, of murdering his six-month-old daughter.
Undated handout photo issued by Avon and Somerset Police of Aya as her father Lee Parker has been found guilty at Bristol Crown Court, of murdering his six-month-old daughter.

"Something catastrophic happened between father and daughter. The defendant assaulted her in such a way that she suffered fatal injuries."

Mr Smith said it may never be known why Parker lost his temper other than he felt isolated on Christmas Eve and was recently bereaved and in a low mood.

On Christmas Eve he drank two bottles of red wine and a third of a bottle of vodka. Tests also found traces of cannabis and cocaine in his blood which he had taken in the previous 24 hours.

"A man influenced by drink and/or drugs might be less well able to control their emotions, perhaps physically, if dealing with the tantrums of a six-month-old baby," Mr Smith said.

A post-mortem examination found Aya died from blunt force trauma injuries to the head, consistent with being struck against something more than once.

Pathologist Russell Delaney found that Aya suffered an injury to her jaw between two and four hours before she died, then suffered the fatal head injuries no more than two hours before she died.

Forensic experts established that Aya's injuries occurred when her head was hit against the bathroom door and wall.

"It is an explanation for what must have been a terrible loss of control and temper on more than one occasion," Mr Smith said.

Parker told paramedics when they arrived at his home in Britton Gardens, Kingswood, south Gloucestershire, that he had woken and found Aya not breathing.

The court heard that Parker and Miss Kucharczyk met online in September 2015 and she fell pregnant almost immediately. Aya was born the following June.

They decided they did not wish to be a couple but would share a two-bedroom flat in Kingswood to bring up Aya together.

"They were very much friends rather than partners," Mr Smith said.

"This was a man who loved his daughter. The reality is that what this defendant did so terribly to his daughter on that Christmas Eve was essentially out of character from both the father and man most people saw.

"This was not the first time he had been left in sole care of his daughter."

Parker pleaded guilty to murder on the day he was due to stand trial.

Deam Armstrong QC, defending, said Parker wished to look after his daughter financially and be a "proper father".

"It is certainly the case that he cannot offer an explanation and has no memory of what happened that night," he said.

"He accepts he had been drinking and he accepts by his plea that he was responsible for the death of his daughter. He has never tried to deflect the blame on to anybody else.

"This was completely out of character and perhaps for inexplicable reasons. It was contrary to all that had gone on before. We cannot offer any explanation."

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