Bereaved dad gives evidence at trial of mum accused of baby murder

Preston Crown Court
Preston Crown Court
Share this article

The dad of a baby girl alleged to have been murdered by her mum has told a jury their "on off" relationship was rocky due to her "mood swings".

Richard Shephard, from Ribbleton, Preston, was permitted to give his evidence from behind screens at the trial of his former partner Jennifer Crichton.

Crichton, 34, of Slater Lane, denies murdering seven-month-old Amelia Crichton last April.

The prosecution allege the mum left her with "catastrophic" head injuries, including bleeding on the brain, in her right eye and a fractured skull.

Preston Crown Court heard Mr Shephard had met Crichton when she became a lodger with him and his previous partner.

Christopher Tehrani QC, prosecuting, said: "How did you feel when Jennifer Crichton told you she was pregnant?"

He replied: "Over the moon."

Asked what his relationship was like after he found out she was pregnant, he said: " Off and on, arguments."

The court heard Amelia was born prematurely in September 2016 and stayed in hospital until March 2017 when she was released under a care plane involving social services.

Mr Tehrani said: " What was your relationship like after Amelia went home?"

He said: " Rocky, off and on again, and more mood swings."

He told jurors on April 18 he had accompanied the mum and baby to the doctors as Amelia had thrush and needed some medication.

They had eaten dinner from a chip shop and walked back to Slater Lane.

He said Amelia was "fine" and said when he left Jennifer Crichton's house to return home, Amelia was asleep in her pram.

He returned home, played on his X box and watched DVDs before taking his antidepressants and going to sleep between 10pm and 10.30pm, the court heard.

Recalling the moment police arrived at his home in the early hours he said: They told me my daughter had been rushed to hospital. I got ready and the police took me in the police car to the hospital.

" They (the medics) just said she had a fit but I was treated like a murder suspect.

" I tried phoning Jennifer up to let her know how bad Amelia was, I could not cope with it, and that she might not survive the night."

(proceeding)