Blackpool dad accused of baby murder claims he was too engrossed in playing Call of Duty to notice her rolling off sofa

A dad accused of murdering his baby daughter told jurors he was playing a war game on his X box and was not paying attention when she rolled off the sofa.

Tuesday, 27th July 2021, 12:50 pm

Willow was found seriously injured at a house on Onslow Road in Layton, Blackpool, on Thursday, December 3, 2020, and was later transferred to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital where she died on Sunday, December 6.

Jordan Lee, 28, of Onslow Road, denies murder and claims the baby rolled off the sofa, onto a carpeted floor - possibly hitting her head on a glass bottle or remote control, but the prosecution argues the injury is not consistent with his account.

The court previously heard a 'thud' was caught on audio in a Snapchat videos recorded by Lee's brother Daniel, who lived with the family and had become concerned about the dad's conduct towards the crying baby throughout the day, including an incident where he allegedly held her by her ankle.

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Willow Lee

Taking to the witness stand as part of his defence case, Lee told jurors on the morning of December 3 he woke up after 8am and that Willow was "very touchy feeling poking my face" and "a bit mardy".

He took her downstairs, strapped her in her chair and put You Tube on, and gave her between 5 and 6 oz of milk which she managed to keep it down.

Lee said the tot was alternating between being "mardy and crying " to "back to her smiles".

His brother Daniel, who lived with the family, alleges he tried to assist him with the baby throughout the day but that Lee was angry.

He sent a message to Willow's mum saying Jordan Lee had held her up by her ankle at one point.

The court was told the brothers had had issues when they were younger and used to fight and Jordan Lee would get the better of him, and that they previously had not spoken for five years.

Asked by defence lawyer Nick Johnson QC about the events of December 3, Lee said he couldn't recall what his brother had said to him, that he had tried to offer some help and that he had replied: 'What can you do help wise?'

Mr Johnson asked: "Why did you say that, why not just let him help?"

He replied: " The way he sterilised bottles in the past, they had not been cleaned very well and there were still little lumps in the bottles

"I don't need the help and he has no experience with Willow."

Asked "Have you ever said anything harsh to Willow?", Lee replied: " I possibly could have said 'shut up Willow'."

Mr Johnson said: "What was your mood when Daniel was trying to help?

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Lee said: " Confused. It's not something you get offered every day - a rare moment."

He was then asked: "Did you pick Willow up by ankle, hold her out to Daniel and say 'there you go'?

Lee replied: " Never. Not once."

He told jurors he had fed Willow and she had been "normal, kicking about" and he had changed her nappy at 4pm or 5pm, before he had put her on sofa, and they had watched cartoons with her.

Mr Johnson asked: " Why did you put her on the sofa?"

He answered: " Sometimes it calms her down and sometimes she falls asleep."

He said he had then started playing his X Box, and jurors were reminded in his police interview he had said: "I think I had focused a bit too much on the game than my child to be honest, and that was my goal, to get to 700."

"I put too much time into it and I should have looking after Willow more, that should have been my priority...I got too intense."

Lee told jurors objects including a milkshake bottle and a controller were on the floor, and that he was using a subwoofer speaker.

He said he was shouting at the game and shouting at the crying baby to 'shut up', but "not out of anger".

Asked about the audio on the Snapchat recordings made by his brother , he said he was "heartbroken" to hear it and that Willow may have been crying because she was "possibly teething or hungry"

Mr Johnson asked: "When did you realise something was wrong with Willow?"

He replied: "When I heard a loud thud, I looked to my left hand side and Willow was face down on the carpet on her left side."

He said he immediately grabbed her, picked her up by her armpits, but was not supporting her head, adding: "I felt shocked and scared - I didn't know what to do."

(proceeding)

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