Jessica Dalgleish: Man jailed for 11 years for killing three-year-old girl who failed to finish her lunch

·2-min read

A man who killed a three-year-old girl while she was in his care after becoming angry that she had not finished her lunch has been jailed for 11 years.

Toddler, Jessica Dalgleish died from catastrophic head injuries inflicted by 27-year-old Paul Marsh at her home in Sandgate, near Folkestone, on 21 December 2019, Kent Police said.

Bruises later found on her face and head suggested Jessica was assaulted by the 27-year-old previously, however, these incidents went unreported to the police at the time.

Evidence showed that Marsh, formerly of Lydd, carried out the fatal attack when the three-year-old was unable to finish her lunch.

At 3.10pm on the day of the killing, Marsh called the emergency services stating that he had found Jessica on the floor in a dazed state.

Initially, he suggested Jessica may have fallen down the stairs whilst playing. But his account of the events was unclear which prompted Kent Police to investigate further.

Jessica was flown by paramedics to receive specialist care in London but later died in hospital on Christmas Eve 2019.

An investigation into Jessica's death found that it was more likely that her injuries had been caused by an impact, such as being thrown against the headboard or side of her bed.

Marsh was convicted of Jessica's manslaughter and child cruelty on 3 November, following a trial.

On Monday, at Maidstone Crown Court, Marsh was jailed for 11 years.

"This is a tragic case in which a young girl has been robbed of her life before it had really begun." said Detective Chief Inspector Neil Kimber, Senior Investigating Officer for the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate.

"Marsh was reluctant to get medical attention for Jessica on the day he inflicted these injuries and he has since sought to evade justice by changing his account and lying about what actually happened on that day," he added.

"A meticulous investigation by my team, including sensitive interviewing of a number of witnesses and careful analysis of complicated medical evidence, has led to Marsh being found guilty of manslaughter."

Mr Kimber added: "I hope the jury's verdicts and the sentence handed down today give Jessica's relatives some sense of closure as they continue to mourn her tragic death."

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting