Dad who killed baby daughter due in court for sentencing

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A father from Luton who was found guilty of the manslaughter of his nine week old daughter is due to be sentenced today.

Adam Stokes had violently shaken his daughter Scarlett causing massive brain injuries to the infant.

Stokes, 33, was remanded in custody at Luton crown court after his conviction last month. He will be sentenced today by Mrs Justice McGowan at the Old Bailey.

It was in January 2013 when Scarlett collapsed at their eighth floor flat in Luton having suffered a cardiac arrest

Scarlett was rushed to the Luton and Dunstable Hospital and transferred the same day to Great Ormond Street Hospital in London.

She never regained consciousness and died there 10 days later when the life support was withdrawn.

Throughout the trial the prosecution said the father was responsible for the appalling injuries she suffered by shaking her with “excessive force,” which caused her brain injuries.

Stokes, from Runfold, Luton pleaded not guilty to the child’s manslaughter.

The trial heard how an ambulance was called to the flat where she lived in with her father in Luton at around 8am on the morning of 14 January 2013.

The court has heard paramedics found her to be “pale, unresponsive, blue, floppy, warm to the touch and in cardiac arrest

Baby Scarlett was being fed by her father at the time she collapsed and a medical evidence was given to the court that a bleed to her brain that had caused her death had been caused by shaking.

The jury heard how, on the evening of Sunday 13 January 2013, Scarlett was rushed to the Luton and Dunstable Hospital after she appeared to stop breathing in the flat.

Stokes said he had been feeding the baby at the time when, after the third ounce, she had started struggling to breathe and had gone “rigid and floppy and her lips and nose had started turning blue.”

He said his daughter was winded and when she was violently sick, her colour returned and she started breathing again.

In the witness, box Stokes said that when his daughter had been born, she had undergone surgery immediately at Great Ormond Street Hospital.

After her discharge from hospital in late November 2012 he said she was brought home .

He told the court he fed the baby, changed and bathed her daily, describing it as “the everyday things you do for a baby.”

Stokes described his daughter as a “very, very quiet baby” who didn’t cry often and who sometimes had to be woken up for her feeds.

Following a visit to the GP on 3 January 2013 for her immunisations, he said she wasn’t herself and was very sleepy.

He said she also suffered what he described as “projectile vomiting,” as well as a cold.

On the the morning of Monday January 14 he said he got up around 6.45 to 7am and went into the kitchen and put the kettle on to make up a feed for his daughter.

Stokes said he got his daughter out of her “Moses Basket” and started feeding her as he sat on the corner of his bed.

He said he winded her after each ounce, telling the jury “She was fine with the first two ounces again, then it got to the third ounce.”

Once again he said she suddenly went rigid then floppy.

He told the court his daughter was like “A rag doll.”

Once more he said an ambulance was called and he was given assistance over the phone on how to administer CPR to his daughter.

The father said he checked to see if his daughter’s heart was beating and he told the jury it was, but he said he “couldn’t see her breathing.”

He said he went to the Luton and Dunstable Hospital and later that day to Great Ormond Street Hospital, where he learned doctors were treating Scarlett for “trauma.”

Miss Sonia Woodley QC, who defended Mr Stokes, asked him “It’s been suggested by the prosecution that you must have shaken Scarlett very vigorously to have caused the damage she sustained. Did you shake her?”

Mr Stokes replied “No, never ever.”

Asked how he felt when he was told Scarlett’s life support was to be removed on January 24, he replied “It was like my whole world had been ripped apart.”