Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Baby's Fatal Injuries 'As Mum and Dad Argued'

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Baby's Fatal Injuries 'As Mum and Dad Argued'

Article excerpt

Byline: Rob Kennedy Court Reporter rob.kennedy@ncjmedia.co.uk

A BABY was assaulted and fatally injured by either her mum or dad during a violent row between the couple, jurors were told.

Little Tequiilah Burke suffered devastating head injuries when either Victoria Burke or Paul Nicholson lost their temper with her, it is alleged.

Prosecutors say the baby was probably shaken and hit off a hard surface by Burke or Nicholson as they argued.

Burke, 24, and Nicholson, 20, both deny causing or allowing the death of a child and are standing trial at Newcastle Crown Court.

Giving his closing speech to jurors, prosecutor Robert Smith QC said: "Tequiilah died because some person or persons inflicted physical violence on her.

"That may have taken the form of shaking or impacting her against some unyielding surface or, more likely, a combination of the two.

"Whoever was responsible for that deliberate violence caused her death because it resulted in a traumatic brain injury."

Mr Smith said Tequiilah is likely to have been rendered unconscious immediately and would have died quickly from her injuries.

The prosecutor told jurors: "If you accept the findings, there is only one clear conclusion to be drawn. At some point, one or other of the defendants was responsible for injuring Tequiilah in this way.

"The assault on her involved gripping her by the right leg and also involved forcible pinching of her right ear, before shaking her and impacting her against some unyielding surface."

Mr Smith said it was possible both Burke and Nicholson were involved in assaulting her but said that can't be proved and would be speculation.

He added: "But the overwhelming evidence is some person in that household caused those fatal injuries.

"Certainly, the prosecution say, one of the defendants on trial was responsible for causing Tequiilah's death.

"That means, despite both defendants having given clear evidence to you in this court that the death of Tequiilah is a complete mystery, one of them did this to her."

Mr Smith continued: "The prosecution say the overwhelming evidence is the two defendants were engaged in a violent argument on the morning Tequiilah died and that, more so, Tequiilah was fatally injured while that violent argument was taking place. …

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