Toddler Lia Green's father 'delivered fatal blow'

Lia Green Lia Green had extensive bruising when she died

A three-year-old girl died after her father inflicted massive internal injuries "normally seen in car crash victims", a court heard.

Lia Green, from Preston, was covered in bruises when her lifeless body was taken to hospital on 30 August, Preston Crown Court was told.

Her father Richard Green, 23, denies murdering her and allowing or causing her death.

Her mother Natalie Critchley, 22, also denies allowing or causing her death.

The court heard emergency services were called to Lia's home on Norris Street after her parents said she was suffering from sickness and diarrhoea and was weak and falling asleep.

She was pronounced dead on arrival at the Royal Preston Hospital.

'Severed bowel'

Peter Wright, prosecuting, told the jury: "The cause of her death was not some freak injury or terrible accident but blunt force trauma to her abdomen that had been delivered with such force that it had caused massive and ultimately fatal internal injuries.

"Part of her bowel had been completely severed by the force of the blow."

The jury was shown images of Lia which showed extensive bruises to her head, neck, chest, abdomen, limbs, buttocks and back.

Many of the bruises were less than 48 hours old, but some were older and evidence of repeated physical abuse, Mr Wright told the jury.

The prosecutor said: "This was physical abuse from which she ought to have been protected by her parents, rather than exposed."

He added the abuse "eventually" led to her death, at the hands of Mr Green.

The day after Lia's death Mr Green was arrested. He told officers his daughter had fallen while on swings at a playground.

'Simmering resentment'

The court heard police had alerted social services who visited the family after Mr Green was caught smoking cannabis with children present.

A social worker reported that while conditions were "less than perfect" there were no other concerns about the child apart from his cannabis use.

The court heard Ms Critchley, a nursery assistant, had been having an affair and unemployed Mr Green harboured a "building and simmering resentment" towards his partner.

Leading up to the death of Lia there was considerable friction between the parents, Mr Wright told the court.

The jury heard Mr Green, who was looking after Lia, visited the nursery where Ms Critchley worked the day before the child's death.

A member of staff described him as "mad and swearing" as he told Ms Critchley to come home because Lia was unwell.

The court heard computer records showed searches made that evening on the NHS Direct website for "a three-year-old hurting head and being sick", and a telephone call to a local surgery that was closed.

At 08:11 BST on the 30 August a 999 called was made, the court heard.

Both the call handler and paramedics who arrived had "misgivings" about the parents' account of their daughter's injuries.

The trial continues.

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