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Man admits suffocating and assaulting four-year-old girl

A man has admitted suffocating a four-year-old girl and assaulting her to the danger of her life.

The child suffered two broken arms and extensive bruising in the attack by Sean Lochrie in a property in Paisley, Renfrewshire, last year.

The High Court in Glasgow heard “significant force” would have been needed to inflict such injuries on the child, who cannot be identified for legal reasons.

When he appeared at the court on Thursday, Lochrie, 33, pleaded guilty to compressing the child’s face and neck with his hands or by some other unknown means, suffocating her and restricting her breathing.

He admitted assaulting her to her severe injury and to the danger of her life by seizing her, throwing her about, striking her on the head and body or inflicting blunt force trauma to those areas by unknown means on October 28 and 29, 2022.

The court heard Lochrie phoned police at around 3.15am on October 29 to report that he had just woken up and a female he did not know was lying on the floor.

Prosecutor Lorraine Glancy KC said: “When the police constable asked the accused to wake up the female so he could speak to her, in the background officers could hear a sound of a young female crying as if in pain.”

Officers were sent to investigate, arriving at 3.25am, and said Lochrie appeared to be under the influence of some unknown substance.

Iain McSporran
Iain McSporran KC said Lochrie has no recollection of the events (Andrew Milligan/PA)

They found the child in the bedroom of the property, with her arm in an unnatural position under her body.

Ms Glancy said: “Officers saw a young female child lying naked on the floor, she was lying on her side with her face towards the door.

“She was naked apart from her purple T-shirt, which was pulled up around the neck.

“She was shaking uncontrollably and tearful.”

The child was taken to hospital by ambulance.

Doctors at the Royal Hospital for Children in Glasgow found she had two broken arms and extensive bruising, while her urine tested positive for cocaine indicating that she had ingested it at the property.

Ms Glancy said doctors concluded “significant force” would have been used to inflict such injuries.

She told the court the child “refuses to speak about the events of the night she was injured”.

Iain McSporran KC, defending, said Lochrie has no recollection of what happened and pleaded guilty to the single charge at the earliest opportunity, describing him as a “broken man”.

He added: “The only comfort to him is that the physical injuries have greatly healed.”

Lord Weir told Lochrie he had pleaded guilty to an “extremely serious charge” and deferred sentence until March 23 at the High Court in Edinburgh for reports.