A FATHER accused of violently shaking his premature baby to death gave a rehearsed timeline of events to a family friend the day after his daughter died, a court heard.

Michael Roe, 33, gave a calm, detailed and specific account 36 hours after resuscitation efforts on baby Holly were stopped.

He is accused of murdering her.

His former partner Tiffany Tate, 22, is also accused of murdering their baby.

Holly was pronounced dead in hospital just after 3am on September 10, 2018.

The pair are both accused of allowing the other to kill the baby.

The Argus: Tiffany Tate and Michael Roe are accusing of killing baby HollyTiffany Tate and Michael Roe are accusing of killing baby Holly

Family friend Samantha Warner said Roe was grumpy and controlling.

He phoned Miss Warner at about 1pm on September 11, 2018, Hove Crown Court heard.

She told the jury: “He was quite calm, almost like he’d rehearsed what he was saying to me.

“Like he was trying to cover something up or pass the blame.”

The eight-week-old baby had 12 rib fractures and died from head injuries caused by violent shaking, the court heard.

Mother-of-three Miss Warner said she became close to Tiffany Tate during her pregnancy.

The court heard Roe does not drink and smoked three cannabis joints a night.

Tate, described as having borderline learning difficulties, moved in with Roe soon after leaving care.

Miss Warner said Roe was encouraging Tate to get antidepressants from the doctor after Holly was born.

In a text message exchange with Miss Warner, Tate wrote: “I don’t know why. He moans at me. I think he needs the help, not me.”

The Argus: Tiffany Tate is also on trial for the death of baby HollyTiffany Tate is also on trial for the death of baby Holly

The court heard Roe admitted shaking Holly when he found her lying cold in her Moses basket.

He was the last person to see her alive when he put her down after her midnight feed, the court heard.

DS Barry Chandler of Sussex Police said he spoke to Roe at hospital soon after the baby died.

He said: “He said he was woken up by the sound of her gasping.

“He touched her and she was cold and floppy.

“He called her name and shook her to try to rouse her.”

Earlier, the court heard the start of the harrowing 999 call made by Roe.

The jury heard him calmly taking instructions from the emergency operator who talked him through performing CPR on Holly.

Roe, who has had medical training, was heard blowing air into his daughter and using chest compressions to try in vain to restart her heart.

Emergency services and hospital staff battled for 90 minutes to save Holly.

Tate and Roe deny murder and allowing the other to kill their baby.

The trial continues.