Dad is identified as RICHARD BARNES.
Father 'crushed baby girl's skull while left in charge of her for just 20 minutes after drinking whisky and vodka'
Haribo employee Richard Barnes 'went to buy more alcohol after attack'
He 'stamped on eight-week old baby's head or pressed skull against floor'
Incident happened in November while partner Stephanie was out of house
Barnes claims they banged heads and he accidently fell on baby Grace
By Mark Duell
PUBLISHED: 08:52 EST, 12 September 2012 | UPDATED: 09:25 EST, 12 September 2012
A father crushed his eight-week-old baby’s skull while he was left in charge of her for just 20 minutes after secretly drinking whisky and vodka, a court heard today.
Richard Barnes, 27, allegedly went to buy more alcohol after inflicting the horrific injuries on baby Grace last November at the family home in Castleford, West Yorkshire.
The Haribo sweets employee either kicked or stamped on the back of her head, or he may have crushed her skull by pressing it against a hard surface such as a floor, prosecutors said.
‘There is no doubt that he did cause those injuries in a deliberate and unlawful assault upon his daughter,’ Richard Mansell QC, prosecuting, told Leeds Crown Court today.
‘When he inflicted these injuries, he can only have intended to cause her really serious bodily harm and therefore the prosecution alleges he is guilty of her murder.’
He said the incident happened ‘during a short period of time when he was in sole charge of Grace while her mother Stephanie was out of the house’.
There were no concerns about Grace’s care during her short life, and the family home Barnes shared with Stephanie Rudd, his partner since 2006, was ‘spotless’, the prosecution said.
But Barnes had a drink problem which he hid from Miss Rudd - and before attacking Grace he drank at least four miniature bottles of whisky, two vodka miniatures and two beers, the court was told.
He filmed himself in his bathroom drinking two whiskies that lunchtime, saying ‘Pretty strong is that’ before belching. After the attack he bought two more miniatures and didn’t ring 999, the jury heard.
Mr Mansell said drink ‘certainly played a part’ in the murder and the amount he had consumed was ‘worrying’ if he was caring for an eight-week-old baby.
Ms Rudd was away for 20 minutes while driving her mother Rinatre home. When she got back, Barnes called out to her to say he clashed heads with Grace after she was sick while he fed her.
An ambulance took her to Pontefract General Infirmary, and after doctors became suspicious, the father was arrested and later bailed.
After she died he was re-arrested on suspicion of murder but before detectives spoke to him, he told his father Kevin: ‘I’ve fallen on her, dad.’
He maintained they banged heads and that he then fell on the baby. He cut his wrist with a razor and later told a forensic nurse it was ‘an accident, I didn’t mean to do it’, the jury heard.
Mr Mansell said Barnes will maintain it was an accident, but a pathologist’s view was that a simple fall would not have been forceful enough to cause the severe skull fracturing. Barnes denies murder.
The trial continues.