Kettering murder trial: Accused sobs as he gives evidence

A Kettering man accused of killing his partner’s baby daughter sobbed in the dock as he was shown footage of his arrest for murder.

Monday, 28th January 2019, 2:20 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th February 2019, 6:29 pm

Ryan Coleman, 23, is on trial at Birmingham Crown Court charged with murdering the one-year-old at their home on April 26 last year.

The prosecution say he violently assaulted the girl, leaving her with devastating injuries to her brain.

Birmingham Crown Court.

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Accused ‘violently assaulted toddler’

Today (Monday) Coleman took to the stand as jurors were shown bodycam footage from the day he was arrested on suspicion of murder.

Coleman, of no fixed address, had broken a bail condition relating to when he was originally arrested for GBH by returning to the house where the incident took place to pick up clothes.

The video showed officers breaking down the front door before running into the garden.

They then broke through two neighbours’ fences before finding him nearby and arrested him on suspicion of murder.

Coleman wept in the dock as the video played, in which he was heard to shout: “Murder?! Murder?! That’s my baby daughter! That’s my baby daughter!”

When Michael Mather-Lees QC, defending, asked him why he reacted that way, Coleman said: “They were trying to say I had murdered her.”

Mr Mather-Lees said: “Had you?”

Coleman replied: “No.”

Earlier this morning Mr Mather-Lees questioned Coleman, who says the baby fell off a toddler bed and hit her neck, about the events of April 26.

The part-time concreter said he did not see the moment she fell off the bed, which was 36cm from the floor, as he was folding clothes.

He said: “I was turning around and picking up bits of clothing. I turned around to pick up a pair of jeans.

“I saw her fall to her right side, she smacked her neck.”

Mr Mather-Lees said: “Did you see what actually happened to her?”

Coleman said: “I could not see how she fell off the bed... it all happened so quick.”

He said he found the baby “starfished” on the floor and gasping for air but called the child’s mother rather than 999 because “he did not think it was anything bad as she had fallen off the bed before”.

Coleman said she was a “happy little baby” and that he looked after her as if she was his own.

He denied the prosecution’s claim that he assaulted the youngster.

Mr Mather-Lees said: “Did you hit, batter, bang about the baby at all?”

Coleman replied: “No, obviously not.”

Mr Mather-Lees said: “Did you slap her?”

Coleman said: “No.”

Mr Mather-Lees said: “Did you hurt her to such an extent that she died?”

Coleman replied: “No.”

The trial, which is into its third week, will resume tomorrow when Coleman is cross-examined.

The jury is expected to retire to consider their verdicts later this week.