WHITTLESEY: Court hears from parents who deny murder of their seven week baby daughter
A SEVEN-week-old baby died from a massive head injury after suffering 20 broken ribs and septic bite marks at the hands of her parents, a court heard yesterday. Leeya Akinrele died in hospital on December 30 2006 after doctors decided to switch off her li
A SEVEN-week-old baby died from a massive head injury after suffering 20 broken ribs and septic bite marks at the hands of her parents, a court heard yesterday.
Leeya Akinrele died in hospital on December 30 2006 after doctors decided to switch off her life support machine.
She had been rushed into emergency care on December 18 after suffering an immediate collapse resulting in ''catastrophic brain damage'' from the fatal injury.
Medical examinations after her death revealed the helpless baby had also suffered a broken thigh bone, fractures around her knees on both legs, broken ribs and bites from adult humans to her face and hands.
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At Cambridge Crown Court yesterday, her parents, Kelly Inman, 21, and Olusola Akinrele, 33, both denied murdering their daughter Leeya.
Mr Akinrele also denied causing or allowing the death of a child.
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Miss Inman, who sobbed throughout the proceedings, also denied causing the death of a child but pleaded guilty to allowing the death of a child.
Prosecuting counsel Yvonne Coen outlined the injuries baby Leeya had suffered while in the care of her parents in a two-bedroomed rented house in Whittlesey.
She said: ''In her seven short weeks of life she suffered a series of appalling and horrific injuries at the hands of one or the other or perhaps both of her parents.
''She was bitten on her face and her hands by an adult, by a human being. These bites caused injuries that these defendants did not want anyone to see.
''Nobody might have seen the bites had it not been for something far worse.''One or other of her parents inflicted a head injury to her which caused her immediate collapse and required emergency treatment.
''The doctors did everything they could but over the next 12 days her condition worsened and on December 30 her life support was withdrawn when it was realised she would never recover.''
The court heard how the bites to Leeya's fingers were so severe they resulted in underlying fractures to the finger bones and ''strongly-smelling infected sores''.
Because of the septic bite marks, when Leeya was first rushed to hospital doctors mistakenly thought her collapse was the result of an extreme form of sceptaecemia.
Miss Coen said the fractures and bite marks had been inflicted in the week before Leeya's collapse and would have been impossible for either parent to ignore.
She added: ''We know that the injuries were inflicted by one or both of Leeya's parents.''
Speaking of Leeya's collapse on December 18, Miss Coen said: ''No one else had care of the baby on that day.
''We cannot say for sure at this stage who was with Leeya when her head injury was inflicted.
''The evidence so far suggests it was Kelly Inman who was with her.''
Leeya was born on November 7 at Peterborough District Hospital and seen by a midwife less than a week after her birth.
Both mother and daughter appeared fine and were visited again by a health professional on November 24.
The court heard how between November 27 and December 13 Miss Inman visited her GP and the hospital on four occasions with post-natal medical complaints, but did not take Leeya with her.
Miss Inman and Mr Akinrele, who met in 2004, were taken in for questioning by police after the post mortem examination revealed the extent of Leeya's horrific injuries.
Both denied any knowledge of the injuries.
When asked in police interviews about their relationship, Miss Inman said it was ''brilliant'' and that Mr Akinrele was a ''brilliant, brilliant dad who would never hurt Leeya''.
Mr Akinrele described Miss Inman as being ''great with baby Leeya''.
The couple were both unemployed at the time of Leeya's death and Mr Akinrele, who was originally from Nigeria, had been recently been refused a visa to stay in the United Kingdom.
The case continues.