'Remorseless' Blackpool dad Jordan Lee gets life for murder of baby Willow

A Blackpool man who murdered his four month old daughter when she wouldn't stop crying has been sentenced to life behind bars.

Friday, 30th July 2021, 10:45 am
Updated Friday, 30th July 2021, 11:00 am

Jordan Lee, 29, of Onslow Road in Layton, violently assaulted Willow Lee on December 3 last year, when he was supposed to be looking after her.

She was taken to Blackpool Victoria Hospital with a serious head injury, and was transferred to Alder Hey Children's Hospital, where she died on December 6.

READ: Blackpool man Jordan Lee found guilty of murdering 'blue-eyed angel' daughter WillowSentencing Lee to a minimum of 16 years in prison, judge Naomi Ellenbogen said: "On the morning of December 3, Willow's mother Jade Bell left the home which she shared with you and your brother Daniel, leaving Willow in your care. Willow was four months old, and like any baby of that age her moods were changeable. She had been teething, which caused some pain, and that day she struggled to settle and cried for some time.

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Jordan Lee expressed 'no remorse' for killing baby Willow

"Shortly before 1.20pm Daniel sent a text to Jade saying you were seriously not fit to be a father, and that he felt sorry for Willow. A few minutes later he sent a further text saying Willow had been crying all day and that you had been getting angry and shouting at her, but you had rejected his offer of help, and picked Willow up by the ankle.

"At the same time your neighbour... could hear you shouting at the baby, yelling 'shut the f*ck up'."

During his trial, Lee claimed Willow was hurt when she rolled off a sofa and possibly hit her head while he played Call Of Duty on his X-Box.

But a jury saw through his lies and found him guilty at Preston Crown Court yesterday.

Willow Lee

They heard how, on December 3, Lee became increasingly angry at his baby daughter. When his brother Daniel offered to look after her instead, he picked up the four month old by the ankle and 'dangled her in the air for 10 to 15 seconds' before putting her down 'on her head, not gently'.

The judge said: "Willow cried persistently and insistently, and I have no doubt that as time passed you became frustrated and angry at your inability to calm her down. Your focus, by this time, was not on Willow but on your online game. You had been fixated on that game and angered by the other players who criticised your gaming skills.

"You rejected your brother's offer of help for no good reason.

"By late afternoon (Daniel) had become so concerned that he made three Snapchat recordings intending to play them to Willow's mother on her return. The final recording in particular is chilling. I'm quite satisfied that it captures the tragic moment you murdered your daughter.

"The three pathologists (we heard from) were of one mind... the severity of Willow's injuries were such that the only explanation for them was a non-accidental head injury. You inflicted that on your own daughter because you wanted to complete a game. Thereafter, you persisted that Willow's injuries had been accidentally acquired."

She added: "Not content with depriving Willow of her life and the many people who loved her, you put them through the further trauma of a trial, asserting that your brother had fabricated his account because he bore a grudge against you, and that your neighbour was mistaken.

"Willow's mother made a victim statement in which she spoke about the extent to which the daughter, who she described as a perfect baby, was cherished. She also spoke of her own guilt of what you did, to which you alone are responsible. Jade Bell has nothing to feel guilty for."

Taking into account mitigating factors, she accepted that Lee's actions were not premeditated and that he did not intend to kill Willow. But she said: "I am not persuaded that there is any real mitigation in this case beside your lack of premeditation and your lack of intent to kill. You have expressed no remorse for your crime."

Lee must serve a minimum of 16 years in prison before he is eligible for parole. If he is released, he will remain on licence for the rest of his life.