Neighbour tells how he found ‘shaken’ baby lifeless in her mother’s arms

10:06 17 January 2014

Exeter Crown Court.

Exeter Crown Court.

Archant

A neighbour has told a jury how he found a baby girl limp and lifeless after being called to help on Boxing Day evening.

Keith Gurney said he found ten-month-old Kimberley Barrett seriously ill when he answered a plea to go to her mother’s flat in Ottery St Mary.

He was called by James Hunt, who is on trial accused of murdering the baby by shaking her or slamming her down in an attack on Christmas Day evening.

Hunt, aged 30, is alleged to have assaulted Kimberley while he was left alone with her for less than an hour while her mother Hayley Bradshaw, aged 26, visited Mr Gurney, who was on his own at Christmas.

The prosecution say he was angry and upset because he was not able to spend Christmas with his own two young daughters, who were with his ex partner in Exmouth while he was living as Hayley’s boyfriend.

The jury have been told Kimberley had head injuries which suggested she had suffered fatal internal bleeding on Christmas Day and had probably been shaken or slammed on an earlier occasion without causing such serious effects.

Kimberley died in the paediatric intensive care unit of the Bristol Children’s Hospital on December 19, 2011, three days after being rushed to the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital in Boxing Day Evening.

Unemployed scaffolder Hunt, aged 30, of Pellinore Road, Exeter, denies murdering Kimberly at Christmas time 2011. He says he did not hurt the child and disputes the medical evidence.

Neighbour Mr Gurney said he was called to Hayley’s flat at Spencer Court, Ottery, when she came home from a short shopping trip on Boxing Day and found Kimberley struggling to breathe.

Mr Gurney, aged 66, told the jury: “James came to my flat and asked me to go and see Hayley and Kimberley.”

“He was quite normal and said Hayley wanted a word with me. There was no urgency in his voice.

“I went to the flat and I think Kimberley was in the lounge. I think Hayley had her over her shoulder. When I got hold of her she was comatose and more or less lifeless.

“I blew in her eyes and there was no response, not even a flicker. I could not feel a pulse and her limbs were floppy. I just said ‘phone 999 now and get an ambulance.

“I took the baby off Hayley while she phoned and I could tell she was in a very serious condition. I don’t remember James making any comment.

“When the first paramedic arrived I put Kimberley down on a sofa and left it to him.”

The trial continues.

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