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Worthing man shook baby to death, court hears
9:43am Tuesday 4th September 2012 in News
A baby was shaken unconscious by the ex-partner of her mother when was babysitting at his Worthing home, a court was told.
Unemployed Jerome Edwards, 27, is accused of shaking and possibly throwing 11-month-old Crystal Hall-Hummel after “losing his patience” at her crying.
Edwards was supposed to be babysitting Crystal at his flat in Nursery Lane, Worthing, on May 13 last year, but paramedics found her ‘completely blue and not breathing’ when they arrived at the flat, Lewes Crown Court was told.
She was resuscitated after 50 minutes but never regained consciousness and was pronounced dead at St Thomas’ Hospital in London the following afternoon.
Prosecuting, Jennifer Knight told the court Edwards had been looking after Crystal alone in his flat while her mother Georgina caught up on some sleep at the mother and baby unit where she lived nearby.
Miss Knight told jurors at Lewes Crown Court: “When Crystal was examined she was found to have injuries consistent with having been shaken forcefully and some kind of impact to the top of her head.”
She added that there were three main categories of injuries suffered by Crystal found after her death which pointed to her being forcefully shaken.
Miss Knight said these three injuries were known as a ‘triad’ and were consistent with a baby possibly being shaken forcefully.
Miss Knight said: “Jerome Edwards was the only person present at the time and must have in reality inflicted these injuries.
“In light of the injuries suffered it is apparent Jerome Edwards must have lost his patience with her – perhaps due to tiredness from a late night with a crying baby.
“He must have lost his temper for a short period of time and may have shaken her before throwing her or hitting her against something.
“When he shook Crystal he must have known inherently that in doing that to a child of her age he would likely cause her serious harm.
“I am sure he is devastated at his loss of control but a loss of control there must have been.”
Georgina Hummel was living in a mother and baby support unit in Worthing and would regularly visit Edwards in his flat and had twice before left Crystal there alone overnight to sleep to give herself a break, the court was told.
Edwards phoned an ambulance at 9.52am and told the operator the little girl had stopped breathing and was talked through how to perform CPR until paramedics arrived four minutes later. Miss Knight said: “Jerome Edwards told paramedics that Crystal had been asleep on the sofa, she had woken him so he gave her a bottle of milk and then he fell back asleep.
“When he next woke up he heard a squeaking gurgling noise and found that Crystal was not breathing and was already purple.”
When he arrived at the hospital he added that he had shaken Crystal after finding her to get her to breathe again but that he had not done it hard.
Defending, Dorian Lovell-Pank said Edwards loved the baby as his own and that the incident was a terrible tragedy.
Edwards denies murder. The trial continues.