Tyne & Wear

Newcastle baby 'fatally injured during parents' row'

Newcastle Crown Court
Image caption The pair's trial at Newcastle Crown Court in expected to last four weeks

A baby girl died after being fatally injured by one or both her parents during a jealous row, a court heard.

Tequiilah Burke sustained brain injuries and bruising and died after being taken to hospital.

Victoria Burke, 24, and partner Paul Nicholson, 20, of Crigdon Hill, East Denton, Newcastle, both deny causing or allowing the death of a baby.

Their trial at Newcastle Crown Court heard it was not known who inflicted Tequiilah's fatal injuries, in 2013.

The jury heard how Ms Burke was working in a nightclub offering drinks in order to raise money for Christmas presents for her four children, but Mr Nicholson was unhappy because she was associating with other men.

Robert Smith QC, prosecuting, said Ms Burke came home from work in the early hours of 14 December 2013, before a row ensued with Mr Nicholson.

'Deliberate assault'

"It is likely that Tequiilah was injured during the course of this argument by one or other or both the defendants. Each of them was exhibiting a loss of temper towards the other," Mr Smith said.

The court was told that just after 08:00 Mr Nicholson dialled 999 to say her baby was not breathing.

She was taken to Newcastle's Royal Victoria Infirmary where she died.

A post-mortem examination revealed she had suffered recent bruising, as well as brain swelling and bleeding.

Mr Smith said: "The only reasonable conclusion is that Tequiilah's death was caused by a deliberate assault by an adult or adults within that household, as a result of which she rapidly collapsed and died."

The jury heard Mr Nicholson told a health visitor he was Tequiilah's father, which Ms Burke denied, but agreed he was bringing her up as his own.

The trial continues.

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