Kimberly Barrett brain injury death trial begins

A man fatally injured his partner's baby because he was upset at being apart from his children on Christmas Day, a jury has been told.

James Hunt is accused of shaking 10-month-old Kimberly Barrett or slamming her down while he was alone with her.

She was rushed to the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital on Boxing Day 2011, but died three days later.

Mr Hunt, 30, of Pellinore Road, Exeter, denies murdering Kimberly at her mother's home in Ottery St Mary.

'Kicking off'

The jury at Exeter Crown Court was told Kimberly died from brain injuries which could only be explained by trauma.

Mr Martin Meeke, QC, prosecuting, said they were inflicted while Mr Hunt was left alone with the child on Christmas night.

While Miss Bradshaw was visiting her neighbour, Mr Hunt called to tell her Kimberly was "kicking off" but when she returned home he said she was in her cot and should not be disturbed.

Shortly afterwards Kimberly started vomiting and was rushed to hospital in the evening of the following day.

Mr Hunt told police the baby's head had "flopped a few inches" and hit the bars of her cot while he was looking after her.

Mr Meeke said Mr Hunt was in a bad mood because although he had contact with his own two young children on Christmas Eve, he had to return them to his ex-partner and was missing them on Christmas Day.

He said it was clear the baby was crying and he could not stop it and "perhaps in temper" he shook her violently and then threw her down.

"He shook Kimberly so violently or banged her head onto some surface, perhaps more than once, and she suffered a head injury and an injury to her brain from which she died four days later," Mr Meeke said.

An area of swelling inside the back of the baby's head and bruises on her ear and forehead were found and medical experts who examined her concluded she had suffered "non-accidental" traumatic injuries - which caused bleeding and swelling inside the skull.

The trial continues.

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