Baby murder case: James Hunt not guilty

Exeter Crown Court James Hunt had been in custody for most of the two years and two months that the case had taken to come to court

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A man accused of killing a 10-month-old baby girl in his care has been found not guilty.

James Hunt 30, of Pellinor Road, Exeter, was cleared by a jury at the city's crown court.

He had denied hurting Kimberly Barrett and said she had gone floppy suddenly on two occasions when he was looking after the girl for her mother.

She died at the Bristol Children's Hospital on December 29, 2011, three days after she collapsed into a coma.

Mr Hunt, who had been in custody for most of the two years and two months that the case had taken to come to court, was discharged and freed immediately.

The prosecution alleged Mr Hunt, who had been the boyfriend of Kimberly's mother for four months, had caused her fatal injuries by either shaking her or throwing her down violently on Christmas 2011, while her mother was visiting a neighbour's flat.

He was in sole charge of Kimberly when the child collapsed at her mother's home in Ottery St Mary.

The judge gave the jury 25 different medical questions to consider and determine while reaching a verdict.

He also reminded jurors that if they were not sure if Mr Hunt had caused Kimberly's death, they should return a verdict of not guilty.

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