Father killed his five-week-old daughter after she distracted him from a video game (From The Argus)
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St Leonards father killed his five-week-old daughter after she distracted him from a video game
Updated 1:48pm Tuesday 8th July 2014 in News
A FATHER killed his five-week-old daughter after becoming frustrated by the distraction of her screaming as he tried to play a video game, a court was told.
Mark Sandland, 28, had a “sudden loss of temper” and shook Aimee-Rose shortly after looking up real-time instructions on playing Assassins Creed 3, prosecutors said.
The baby was rushed to Conquest Hospital in Hastings with brain damage and other injuries, before being transferred to King’s College Hospital on November 9, 2012.
Aimee-Rose died in her mother’s arms after doctors switched off her life support machine.
Sandland, who has pleaded guilty to manslaughter, told paramedics and police he had an epileptic fit and woke up on top of his daughter. However, doctors said Aimee-Rose’s injuries, including brain damage and bruising to her face and chest, were not consistent with an incident of that nature.
Aimee-Rose died of a head injury consistent with shaking, Lewes Crown Court was told.
Sandland was looking after his daughter at their home in Church Road, St Leonards, on November 5, 2012 while her mother went to university in Brighton for the first day of her applied social sciences degree. Sally Howes QC, prosecuting, said Sandland had accessed a “help line” website that gave step-by-step instructions on how to play Assassins Creed 3 on Sony PlayStation, 16 minutes and 24 seconds before phoning 999 to say his daughter was lifeless and her lips blue.
Ms Howes said: “It is the Crown’s case that, frustrated by the distraction of Aimee-Rose screaming, the defendant picked her up and grabbed her round the torso in a sudden loss of temper and loss of control.”
The court was told that Sandland had texted his partner that day saying their daughter had not “shut up” since she had left half an hour before.
Ms Howes said Sandland suffered from Guillain-Barré syndrome, a neurological condition which causes paralysis, and functional non-epileptic attack disorder, which causes seizures.
The court was also told that medical experts do not think he was having a seizure when he injured his daughter.
Psychiatrist Dr Duncan Anderson said Sandland satisfied the criteria of borderline emotionally unstable personality disorder, while other experts agreed that he struggled to cope with stress.
Lewis Power QC, mitigating, said his client would “carry the heavy burden of knowing for the rest of his life that he killed his young daughter”.
He also emphasised Sandland’s health problems, difficulty coping with stress, and abandonment by his mother when he was one year old. He was eventually raised by his grandparents.
Mr Power added that his client’s strongest mitigation was that he had pleaded guilty, noting he was “full of contrition and remorse”.
Wearing a grey suit, Sandland sobbed in the dock throughout the majority of the hearing. He is due to be sentenced tomorrow.