Father did not think baby turning blue was cause to dial 999, murder trial hears

·3-min read

A father accused of murdering his baby daughter has said he did not initially call an ambulance when she was “blue and floppy” because he believed it was “part of her anaemia”.

Lily-Mai Hurrell Saint George suffered 18 rib fractures, a leg fracture and a fatal head injury allegedly caused by forceful shaking at the hands of Darren Hurrell and Lauren Saint George, who are both 25.

They have denied causing their 10-week-old daughter’s death.

Wood Green Crown Court heard a reading of an April 2018 police interview with Hurrell, from Alvaston in Derby, who was not present on Monday due to illness.

Meanwhile, Saint George, from Enfield in north London, chose not to give evidence.

Darren Hurrell and Lauren Saint George court case
Darren Hurrell arrives at Wood Green Crown Court, London, earlier in the trial (Yui Mok/PA).

Hurrell said his daughter was intermittently “blue and floppy” in the days before she died but since he and his partner believed this was caused by her anaemia, neither called 999 until she stopped breathing on January 31.

During questioning by the detective about why an ambulance was not called sooner, he said: “It’s part of her anaemia, she does bruise.”

Hurrell added that there had been two incidents where Lily-Mai could have been injured in the days before she died – but at the time he had not believed they caused any serious harm.

He said that he had been sitting on a bed with his daughter when she “kicked out” and appeared to be falling, so he grabbed her leg, which left a red mark.

Hurrell said: “It did leave a red mark, but she was a premature baby and she’s got skinny arms.

“She kicked out and almost fell off the bed.

“I think I may have grabbed her a bit too hard because obviously I don’t know my own strength, so I just stopped her from falling off the bed.

“It was a quick reaction, a quick grab. I didn’t think I hurt her.”

Hurrell said Lily-Mai cried after the incident and took “10 or 15 minutes” to calm down, adding that he did not mention it to social workers because “it didn’t seem relevant”.

Darren Hurrell and Lauren Saint George court case
Lauren Saint George, from Enfield in north London, arrives at Wood Green Crown Court, London, earlier in the trial (Yui Mok/PA)

He also recalled an incident on a bus where Lily-Mai’s pram tipped forward suddenly while she was inside, but said again that she seemed “fine” shortly afterwards.

Hurrell said: “Lauren was getting off the bus with the pram and I was behind her and the bus jolted but the pram ended up going face down.

“Lily was crying a bit, I think that was due to whiplash.”

When asked whether he thought the bus incident could have caused Lily-Mai’s injuries, he said he was unsure but it could have.

Jurors were also told that Hurrell was previously cautioned for common assault against Saint George.

They were told that on February 28 2019 Hurrell did not physically assault his partner but caused her to feel “in fear of harm”.

Lily-Mai had been discharged into her parents’ care just six days before she died despite the opposition of hospital staff.

The court heard the pair had been housed in a small flat while their baby was still in Barnet Hospital, having been born prematurely at 31 weeks.

Lily-Mai was taken to North Middlesex Hospital on January 31 but died two days later on February 2 after being transferred to Great Ormond Street Hospital.

The five-week trial continues.

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