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Worthing man 'blames himself' for baby's death
A man accused of shaking his girlfriend’s baby to death said “I blame myself”.
Jerome Edwards, 27, said he had tried to resuscitate Crystal Hall-Hummel after waking to find her blue and limp.
Edwards had been looking after 11-month old Crystal alone while her mother Georgina tried to catch up on some sleep.
He said he had swaddled the baby in a blanket and propped her up on the sofa with a bottle propped in her mouth before falling back to sleep.
Edwards, who denies murder, said that when he found Crystal wasn’t breathing he tried to shake her to resuscitate her.
But giving evidence yesterday (September 12), Edwards said: “After hearing what the doctors have said, about how I could have made it worse, I have to blame myself.
Jerome EdwardsOf course I didn’t intend to hurt her. She was my little girl
“It’s really hard but I’m having to blame myself.
“I don’t want to.
“I never hurt Crystal or Georgina or anyone.
“Of course I didn’t intend to hurt her. She was my little girl.
“Crystal and Georgina were everything to me.
“They were my world.
“I saw Crystal like a daughter from day one.
“Biologically she wasn’t mine, but in every other way she was my daughter.”
Describing the moment he said he found Crystal, Edwards told a jury at Lewes Crown Court: “Crystal looked really ill. She looked blue.
“I was instantly scared. I could tell something wasn’t right. She wasn’t breathing. I went to pull the blanket off her and she wasn’t reacting. She was limp.
“My reaction was to scoop her up and take her into the bedroom to get my phone and call an ambulance.
“I put my fingers in her mouth.
I didn’t really know what I was doing. I was just scared.
“I shook her and I tried to breathe in her mouth but I don’t know CPR.
“I have never shaken Crystal before. I put my hands around her middle and shook her forward and back and forward and back. But obviously not as hard as that.
“I was in absolute panic.
“I have seen CPR on TV.
“It was a natural reaction to shake her. I was hoping she was going to snap out of it. I shook her only for a couple of seconds.
“It was the most horrible thing I have ever seen in my life.
“Her whole body was limp.”
The jury in the case were yesterday asked to consider a second, alternative charge of manslaughter, which Edwards also denies.
The trial continues.