A woman accused of murdering her three-year-old daughter claimed to police that she had heard her boyfriend punching the girl on a previous occasion.
Kaylee-Jayde Priest died after being subjected to a “ferocious assault” at her home in Kingshurst. Her catalogue of injuries were said to be similar to those suffered by a child in a car accident.
Birmingham Crown Court was told that her mother Nicola Priest, 23, and boyfriend Callum Redfern, 22, have blamed each other for causing the injuries which led to the death.
Redfern, of Temple Street, Lower Gornal, Dudley, and Priest, of Poplar Avenue, Edgbaston, have denied murder, manslaughter and allowing the death of a child.
In addition they have pleaded not guilty to child cruelty
All the charges relate to the period between August 7 and 10, 2020.
When paramedics were called to Priest’s home in Stonebridge Crescent, Kingshurst, on August 9 last year, she had already been dead for several hours, said Andrew Smith QC, prosecuting.
He told the court previously that the pair had begun a sexual relationship and that Redfern regularly visited Priest.
They also went out on trips together.
Mr Smith said that injuries had been inflicted on Kaylee in the months and weeks leading up to the final assault.
He said it occurred when Redfern visited on August 8 with a friend.
Mr Smith said at one point the couple had gone into a bedroom together.
“The catalyst may have been Kaylee interrupting them spending time together,” he said.
“They bear joint responsibility for Kaylee’s murder.”
The prosecutor said Priest was later interviewed by police and said: “Priest told police Kaylee had been fine in the day. She said Redfern had been alone in the bedroom with Kaylee for five to 10 minutes.”
“She seems to be fine and then began to be sick,” Priest told police
Mr Smith said as the interviews progressed, Priest said that she had heard Redfern punching Kaylee on a previous occasion.
Gurdeep Garcha QC, for Redfern, addressing the jury, said: “He was a boyfriend who had been on the scene for a matter of weeks
“It is disputed he inflicted any physical violence in the weeks and months leading up to her death.
“It is disputed he inflicted any physical violence on Kaylee on on the evening of August 8
“It is his case that the injuries must have been caused by Priest
“Put very simply… ‘I did not do it, it must be her.’
While George Carter-Stephenson QC for Priest said: “It is disputed that Priest was ever seriously lacking in proper caring of parental responsibilities, apart from permitting Redfern to take partial parenting responsibilities.
“It is disputed she ever disciplined her daughter unnecessarily or that she inflicted any physical violence on Kaylee on August 8.
“It is her case the injuries had been caused by Redfern. There is no other candidate.”
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