How we use Cookies

Grandfather accuses dad of child murder - court hears

The trial of Ross Conlin who denies one count of murder and three charges of causing grievous bodily harm with intent continues at Winchester Crown Court. Kelly-Marie Rayner denies one count of causing or allowing the death of a child

Kelly-Marie Rayner was cleared of causing or allowing the death of her four-month-old daughter
Kelly-Marie Rayner is charged with causing or allowing the death of her four-month-old daughter

The grandfather of a baby who died last year believes she was killed by her father, a court has heard.

Paul Rayner allowed Ross Conlin to sleep under his roof for months after four-month-old Kiera’s death, unaware of the extent of her injuries.

Conlin, 29, from Farnborough, is accused of shaking his daughter Kiera so violently while left alone with her that she had a heart attack and stopped breathing.

He denies murder and three charges of causing grievous bodily harm with intent.

Kiera’s mother, Kelly-Marie Rayner, 26, denies one count of causing or allowing the death of a child.

At the trial at Winchester Crown Court, Mr Rayner told the jury of an "upsetting" phone call from his daughter from police custody, in which she said Kiera had suffered eight broken ribs, three skull fractures and bleeding in her eyesockets.

He said his daughter told him: "He’s shook her and killed her."

Kiera had died seven months earlier but the full extent of her injuries had not been revealed to the family. Until that phone call, Mr Rayner said he was not at all suspicious of Conlin and had never seen signs of serious injuries.

In the months leading up to her death, he said she had a nasty cough and cold and scratches to her nose and mouth which he believed to be self-inflicted.

On the day she was allegedly shaken, he said nurses had in fact praised Conlin’s efforts to revive Kiera with CPR, adding he had been "proud" of him.

Mr Rayner said: “I told Kelly that Ross couldn’t have done this but she said ‘He has. He’s shook her and killed her’.

“She was so angry that he had lied to us all these months. He had slept under our roof all this time and we started trying to connect the dots. I believe he killed my granddaughter. It was devastating. I remember Ross couldn’t feed her and it must have been very stressful for him but catastrophic events have happened in our family and it has been an absolute tragedy.”

Conlin, who works for Capquest in Fleet, was alone with the baby when he called for paramedics after Kiera stopped breathing. Paramedics revived the youngster and took her to Frimley Park Hospital but she was transferred to Southampton General Hospital for expert treatment.

Despite this, she was pronounced brain dead. A life support machine was turned off on May 7 and Kiera died in her mother’s arms.

Prosecuter Nigel Lickley QC said Conlin, a cannabis and cocaine user who was ‘stressed out’ with work, was angry after failing to bond with his daughter.

He added some of the injuries were sustained up to ‘four to eight’ weeks before her death.

Banking advisor Rayner was out having her nails painted at the time of the death and denies one count of causing or allowing the death of a child.

The court has heard there were tensions in their relationship before Kiera’s death and text messages between the couple show them discussing her injuries.

The jury of three women and nine men were warned of the strong emotions the case will throw up by Mr Justice Royce.

The trial, which is expected to last six weeks, continues.

 

Journalists

James Chapple
Chief Reporter (Aldershot)
Laura Nightingale
Yateley Reporter
Natalie Garland
Farnborough Reporter
Jon Couch
Sport Editor
Fergus McEwan
Community & Schools Editor
Stephen Lloyd
Fleet Reporter
Ros Collins
Junior News & Mail
Full newsroom contact details
Tell us what's happening in your area