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Mother of 'murdered' baby believed father would not harm their child

Winchester Crown Court has been told about text messages sent between two defendants charged in relation to the death of their daughter

Winchester Crown Court

The mother of a baby allegedly shaken to death by her father said she 'knew 100%' he would not harm their daughter, a court heard this week.

Ross Conlin, 29, was in police custody the day after his four-month-old daughter Kiera died in hospital, as officers questioned him over the circumstances .

His partner, Kelly-Marie Rayner, 26, stood by him in the immediate aftermath of the baby's death, a text message has revealed.

Rayner messaged Conlin saying: "I wish I could be there for you every night. I know 100% you wouldn't harm my gorgeous baby girl.

"We will pull through this as a family and lay our daughter to rest together.

"You are my soul mate, I love you and you are the best dad in the world."

Conlin denies murder and three charges of causing grievous bodily harm with intent, and Rayner denies one count of causing or allowing the death of a child.

At the trial at Winchester Crown Court on Monday June 30, prosecutor David Richards went through more than 500 text messages sent between the Farnborough couple and to their family and friends.

Both Rayner and Conlin had deleted messages sent between them, however, some parts have since been recovered by police.

They revealed how Conlin struggled to care of Kiera when left alone with her and he even joked about selling her on eBay on one stressful occasion.

Just a week before her death on April 30 last year, he complained to Rayner: “She is a moany bitch LOL she has cut her eye already.”

The couple had been to stay with Rayner's parents when Conlin dialled 999 on the morning of last May 6 to report his daughter was not breathing and was ‘limp’.

He had been left alone with Kiera as Rayner had left for a nail appointment and her father Paul had gone to the rubbish tip and B&Q.

Paramedics managed to revive the youngster and took her to Frimley Park Hospital, but she was later transferred to Southampton General Hospital for expert treatment.

She was pronounced brain dead and a life support machine was turned off at 6.30pm the next day.

Conlin, who is said to use cocaine and cannabis, claimed his daughter had choked, however post mortem tests showed she had suffered three skull fractures and a rib fracture three to five days before her death, bleeding behind her eyes and spinal injuries consistent with rapid movement of her head and shoulders.

Tests on Kiera’s bruised and marked body found her injuries could be caused by vigorous shaking and bone examinations revealed she had suffered a rib fracture four to eight weeks before her death.

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

The trial continues.

 

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