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Maisie Newell death: Dad 'stressed' before hurting baby

image copyrightMet Police
image captionMaisie Newell died when she was 13, allegedly as a result of the earlier injuries

A father has told a court he sought help for "stress" months before hurting his baby daughter, who died almost 14 years later.

Maisie Newell was four weeks old when, in August 2000, she suffered brain injuries after allegedly being thrown into her cot, the Old Bailey heard.

The court was told Maisie was left disabled and died aged 13 in June 2014 as a result of the earlier injuries.

Dean Smith from Hertfordshire admitted manslaughter but denies murder.

At the time of her injuries, Maisie and her older brother had been at home in Edgware, north London, in the care of their father while their mother, Amanda Lee, was out.

Mental health

In 2001, Smith, from Bushey, pleaded guilty to inflicting grievous bodily harm on his daughter without intent and was sentenced to three years in prison.

Giving evidence in his murder trial, the 45-year-old described struggling with his mental health since his teens, when he was prescribed anti-depressants.

He said when Maisie was born "I just could not believe my luck - I had a son and daughter".

But he told jurors that coping with the children was "a lot more difficult than I expected it to be".


In the months leading up to the incident in August 2000, Smith said he started to "deteriorate again".

"I started to feel stress, panic, anxiety again when I was under pressure," he said.

In June 2000, Smith consulted his doctor who made an appointment for him to see a psychiatrist in the December, but he was in custody by the time it came around.

Zafar Ali QC, defending, asked: "By pleading guilty to manslaughter, you fully accept that you are responsible for the death of your daughter. But you deny that you intended to kill her or cause her really serious harm?"

Smith replied: "Yes."

Mr Ali said Smith also suffered from ADHD and this condition may provide an alternative defence of diminished responsibility.

The trial continues.

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Related Topics

  • Edgware
  • Bushey

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