Jurors hear evidence from grandma of tragic baby girl

Crown Court
Crown Court

The grandmother of a baby alleged to have been murdered has described how she and her husband drove hundreds of miles when they learned their tiny granddaughter was in hospital.

The statement of Sally Quested was read to jurors at the trial of seven-month-old Amelia Crichton's mother, Jennifer Crichton, who denies her murder.

The prosecution allege the 34-year-old mum, of Slater Lane, Leyland, left her with "catastrophic" head injuries, including bleeding on the brain, in her right eye and a fractured skull.

The baby had been born prematurely, but was living at her mother's home - under social services supervision.

In her statement the bereaved grandmother, whose son Richard Shephard is Amelia's father, said: " On April 19, Rick had phoned his sister to tell her that Amelia had been taken back into hospital. There was mention of police being present and it was hard to understand exactly what was going on

"He was very upset and told her she may not make it.

"He was pleading with us to come up and be with him.

"At this point we assumed it was another seizure or fit.

"I couldn't get hold of either Rick or Jenny on their mobiles but I later found out the police had taken them."

She described eventually managing to contact Crichton, who was given accommodation in the Ronald McDonald house - charitable accommodation for parents of children who are in hospital.

She added: "Her account was Amelia had been in a bouncy chair, that her eyes had gone funny, she let out an almighty scream and her arms went up in the air.

"She then stopped breathing.

"Myself and Nick, my husband, travelled up from Kent the following day and arrived late on the Thursday night.

"On the Friday morning we went back to hospital. I first saw Jenny later that morning and she again provided the same account about what had happened.

After the baby's life support machine was turned off and she had passed away, she said the couple returned to Amelia's dad's home in Ribbleton to help him with the necessary arrangements.

The court also heard medical evidence about a post mortem examination of Amelia's eyes by a pathologist.

In her right eye she had suffered extensive multiple retinal bleeds in nine out of ten layers of her retina.

In her left eye she had recent bleeding near her optic nerve, deemed to have happened two to three days before her death and was associated with head trauma.

There was also bleeding in the tissue in her eye socket.

The court was told none of the findings were due to her condition or premature birth.

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