Luton dad guilty over death of baby daughter

Luton Crown Court
Luton Crown Court

A father from Luton is facing jail after being found guilty of the manslaughter of his nine-week-old baby daughter.

Adam Stokes, 33, of Runfold Luton, pleaded not guilty to the charge but was told that a jail term is “inevitable” after being found guilty at Luton Crown Court yesterday.

In January 2013 Stokes’ daughter Scarlett collapsed having suffered a cardiac arrest.

She was rushed to the Luton and Dunstable Hospital and transferred the same day to Great Ormond Street Hospital in London, but never regained consciousness.

The infant died ten days later when the life support was withdrawn.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”.

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

The court heard that paramedics found the infant “pale, unresponsive, blue, floppy and warm to the touch”.

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

He told the court that 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.

On the the morning of January 14, 2013 he said he got up around 7am 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.”

He told the court his daughter then went floppy and was “like a rag doll.”

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.”

Stokes denied shaking the baby and said that his “whole world has been ripped apart”.