Manchester

Hollie Ashurst murder trial: Dad claims toddler 'died after falls'

Hollie Ashurst Image copyright GMP
Image caption Hollie, who had just started to crawl, died in hospital on 1 March

A father accused of shaking his 14-month-old daughter to death in a fit of rage claims she died after a series of falls at the family home.

Daniel Ashurst, 33, denies murdering his daughter Hollie, who died from multiple injuries.

He said his daughter was injured in a series of accidents within an hour of him running into a GP's surgery with his limp daughter in his arms.

Prosecutors at Manchester Crown Court described his claims as "nonsense".

Hollie suffered multiple bruises and cuts to the head and neck, bleeding on the brain and in the eyes, a broken ankle and two possible bite marks to her hand and thigh.

Mr Ashurst told the jury that Hollie firstly fell off the bed at home in Shevington, Wigan, on 28 February when he left her for a "split second" to go to the bathroom.

Then he claimed he went outside to move a bin and on his return found her two steps down from the top of the stairs "shaking from head to toe".

'I would never hurt her'

The defendant said when he picked Hollie up, he then dropped her because the left pocket of his shorts snagged on something and she landed at the bottom of the staircase.

In the car on the way to hospital, he said his daughter went "flying" out of her car seat when he braked "heavily" at some traffic lights.

Mr Ashurst only mentioned the two-step fall to a doctor and four paramedics when he diverted to the nearby Standish Medical Practice, the court heard.

When asked under cross-examination by prosecutor Guy Gozem QC why he did not tell medics the full history of events, he replied: "I can't answer that question."

The barrister replied: "The answer is you had not thought of this nonsense that you are now telling the jury", and added: "I am going to suggest to you that you lost your temper and in frustration shook Hollie and inflicted those injuries on her."

Mr Ashurst responded: "I would absolutely never hurt Hollie."

The trial continues.

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