Addict cleared by jury of killing baby daughter is blamed by High Court judge

A heroin addict cleared by a jury of killing his 12-week-old daughter has been blamed by a judge who analysed evidence in a civil court case.

The man was acquitted late in 2018 after being charged with manslaughter and going on trial at a crown court.

But Mrs Justice Lieven, who was asked to make findings by council social services bosses with responsibility for another child in the family, has decided otherwise.

She concluded, on the balance of probabilities, that the man caused a head injury which resulted in the baby girl’s death.

The judge considered the case at a private hearing in the Family Division of the High Court in London earlier this year and outlined her findings in a ruling published online.

She said Greenwich Council (pictured) in south-east London was the local authority involved but she said the family involved could not be identified in media reports.

Mrs Justice Lieven also said the man had probably broken his daughter’s ribs in the weeks before her death.

The man had denied injuring his daughter.

Lawyers who represented him at the crown court trial argued that jurors could not be sure whether the girl had been killed by her father or her mother.

Mrs Justice Lieven said evidence showed that the man had a propensity to lose his temper and shake his daughter and that he had been caring for her alone when she suffered the head injury.

The judge also criticised the girl’s mother.

She said the woman had failed to protect her daughter.

Mrs Justice Lieven said she had left a “tiny baby” in the care of a someone she knew was a heroin addict with a history of losing his temper.

Last month, it emerged that a woman jailed after jurors decided that she had fractured her baby son’s skull had been cleared by a judge who analysed the case in separate family court proceedings.

Lord Justice Baker revealed detail of his findings about former law student Elizabeth Wilkins following private family court hearings.

The judge had analysed evidence after council social services bosses with responsibility for the boy’s care asked him to make findings of fact on the balance of probabilities.

He released rulings in November and said Wilkins and the baby’s father, Erick Vanselow, could be named in media reports.

Wilkins, who studied at the University of Plymouth, was given a seven-year sentence in December 2018, following a trial at Plymouth Crown Court, after being convicted of a number of offences.

She had gone on trial with Mr Vanselow.

Jurors said they were sure that Wilkins had caused her baby’s head injuries and convicted her of inflicting grievous bodily harm with intent.

Mr Vanselow was acquitted after prosecutors withdraw a charge relating to the baby’s head injury.

But Lord Justice Baker reached a different conclusion.

He concluded that Mr Vanselow, not Wilkins, had inflicted a “series of injuries” to the baby’s head.

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