Saturday 21 April 2018

Father who murdered baby daughter in fit of temper on Christmas Day faces life

Lee Parker has been found guilty of murdering his six-month-old daughter Aya
Lee Parker has been found guilty of murdering his six-month-old daughter Aya

Rod Minchin

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.

He alerted the emergency services at 1am on Christmas Day - a short time after he had carried out the murderous attack on defenceless Aya.

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.

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

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
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

"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.

"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 Parker 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 took 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, which were consistent with being struck against something more than once.

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

Forensic experts established that the cause of 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 he had woken and found Aya not breathing.

The court heard that Parker and Miss Kucharczyk had 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, South Gloucestershire 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, of Britton Gardens, Kingswood, South Gloucestershire pleaded guilty to a charge of 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."

Trial judge Mr Justice Phillips remanded Parker into custody and will pass sentence on Tuesday.

He said: "You will have been advised by your counsel what the inevitable sentence will be."

Press Association

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