A two-year-old girl allegedly killed by her mother’s boyfriend suffered a series of assaults leading up to her death, a court has heard.
Maya Chappell died as a result of a “constellation of injuries” allegedly inflicted by Michael Daymond, 27, when she was in his sole care at home in Shotton Colliery, County Durham, last September, Teesside Crown Court was told.
Daymond denies murder and a charge of child cruelty and will say the child was injured falling out of bed, jurors were told.
The girl’s mother, Dana Carr, 24, allegedly repeatedly lied to the toddler’s father about bruises on her daughter’s body.
She denies charges of child cruelty by neglecting the two-year-old and allowing the death of her child.
Ben Nolan KC, prosecuting, said Maya’s father James Chappell had repeatedly raised concerns with his ex-partner about their daughter’s bruises.
The court heard Carr went to work and left Maya in the care of Daymond on 28 September last year before he made a 999 call saying Maya was “gasping for breath”.
He said although her eyes were open it was “like she wasn’t there” and seconds later she stopped breathing.
Daymond was told instructions over the phone and the emergency services tried to save her, but it was in vain.
‘A constellation of injuries’
Mr Nolan said: “The pathologist who carried out a post-mortem examination concluded Maya had been subjected to a blunt force assault likely comprising severe shaking perhaps combined with blunt force impacts to the head and forceful blows to the abdomen.
“Additionally, there had been gripping and or pulling of the jaw and left ear.
“Maya also had extensive head, neck and torso bruising.
“A constellation of injuries that, in the opinion of the pathologist, had been deliberately inflicted and resulted in severe brain damage from which she could not recover.”
Death was not ‘one-off’, prosecution says
The prosecution said her death was not a “one-off” event but the culmination of a series of attacks.
A study of Daymond and Carr’s phones, as well as witness statements, revealed concerns had been raised about Maya.
Mr Nolan said her father had contacted police to find out whether Daymond had a history of domestic violence, as he was worried about his daughter being around him and told Carr she was failing to protect their child.
Carr was infatuated with her boyfriend, the court was told, turned a “blind eye” to what was going on, and misled people around her about what was happening.
The trial continues.