Amelia Bowmar death: Darryl Elliott 'snapped'

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A Lincolnshire toddler died after being violently shaken when the man looking after her "snapped" a jury has heard.

Fourteen-month-old Amelia Bowmar died of brain injuries on 31 July, three days after being rushed to hospital from her home in Sutton-on-Sea.

Nottingham Crown Court was told Darryl Elliott, 30, who had moved to the address from Nottingham, changed his story to avoid blame.

Mr Elliott, who denies murder, said he tried to revive the girl after a fall.

Social services

The court heard the defendant moved in with Amelia's mother, Sarah, in Sandringham Drive, at the end of 2011 and was regarded as a "caring father figure".

But at the end of May, Amelia was seen to have a bloodshot eye, which Mr Elliott, who looked after her during the day, blamed on a new pet dog.

A week later her mother called an ambulance after a swelling, later shown to be a bruise on the skull, was found on the back of her head, the jury was told.

After doctors saw this injury, social services became involved and the couple were questioned by police, but no action was taken.

On 28 July, when Mr Elliott was looking after Amelia and another girl, he rang 999.

Medical evidence

In the recording where he described finding her unconscious, Mr Elliott referred to the earlier visit from social services and said "This is the last thing I need".

Amelia died just after midnight on 31 July.

Yvonne Coen QC, prosecuting, said Mr Elliott told everyone the toddler must have fallen off the sofa while he was out of the room.

But a series of medical experts said the damage to her brain could not have come from such a fall, she said.

"Therefore he changed his account, saying that while lifting Amelia out of the bath, she had slipped from his grasp and banged her head."

Ms Coen added: "When he later found Amelia unconscious he said he panicked, shook her five or six times in an attempt to revive her and then smacked her on the back."

But his too, she said, did not fit the facts.

"While looking after the children, something inside him snapped and regrettably he took it out on Amelia", Ms Coen told the jury.

The trial continues.

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