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Mother in tears after being cleared of baby death charge

Four-month-old Kiera Conlin's father still stands accused of her murder

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

A mother accused of causing or allowing the death of her baby daughter wept in court as she was cleared of the charge on Tuesday.

Kelly-Marie Rayner, 26 and from Farnborough, thanked the judge and jury before being embraced by her mother, Dawn, and stepfather, Paul Rayner, after being found not guilty of playing any role in the death of four-month-old Kiera Conlin.

The case against Kiera's father, 29-year-old Ross Conlin, who is charged with her murder and three counts of causing grievous bodily harm, is continuing.

Mr Justice Royce directed the jury to find Ms Rayner, a banking advisor, not guilty.

He said: "Ladies and gentlemen, I'm sorry you have been delayed in the resumption of this trial.

"The position at the end of the prosecution case was that certain legal matters required discussion.

"The result of that is I have determined the case against Kelly Rayner should go no further.

"It's my responsibility even though she is in your charge. In effect, you are all agreed in your verdict you find her not guilty. I take responsibility on that.

"Mr Conlin remains charged on the counts he faces."

Mr Conlin is said to have shaken his daughter so hard that she had a heart attack and stopped breathing on May 6 last year. She was rushed to hospital from her grandparents' home in Farnborough.

The debt collector was alone with Kiera at the time and called 999 to say she was "limp" and had not been breathing for four minutes.

Paramedics managed to revive her and took her to Frimley Park Hospital before she was transferred to Southampton General Hospital for specialist treatment.

However, doctors pronounced her brain dead and switched her life support machine off at 6.30pm the following day.

The prosecution alleges Mr Conlin, from Farnborough, inflicted the fatal injuries including eight rib fractures, three skull fractures and bleeding in her eye sockets.

The trial continues.

 

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