Mother cleared of allowing death of 12-month-old daughter after ignoring warnings about partner
A mother has been cleared of allowing the death of her 12-month-old daughter, who was murdered by her partner.
Chelsea Crilly, 20, was warned over the safety of her child, Orianna Crilly-Cifrova, by various authorities after she began a relationship with Jamie Chadwick, 22, who was under investigation at the time on suspicion of causing serious brain injuries to a six-month-old boy.
Ms Crilly told the court she had been reassured by Chadwick he would never hurt a child and her lawyers argued she had been deceived by her “manipulative” boyfriend.
On Monday, Ms Crilly was unanimously found not guilty by a jury at Manchester Crown Court (pictured) of allowing Orianna’s death from multiple skull fractures.
She sobbed as she was told she was free to leave the dock.
Earlier, Chadwick had been convicted of murder and will be sentenced on Tuesday.
Chadwick had denied inflicting a violent attack on the youngster at their flat in Radcliffe, Greater Manchester, on October 16 last year while he was left home alone with her.
Emergency services were called when Ms Crilly and the defendant’s sister returned and discovered the toddler “floppy” and “white” in her pram.
During the trial, he changed his defence that Orianna had fallen down stairs and told the jury that Ms Crilly had kicked her daughter “flying” into a television stand and claimed she then made him take the blame.
His account was rejected unanimously by jurors.
In her evidence, Ms Crilly accepted she lied to social workers, a healthcare visitor, police officers and doctors about her relationship with Chadwick before Orianna’s death because she wanted the three of them to live together.
Her lies were now an “embarrassment” to her and she accepted, with hindsight, she should have listened to the advice.
From July 2018, Chadwick had been under investigation by both the police and social services in relation to injuries sustained by a separate child, referred to in court as Baby T, with a different mother.
At the time, the defendant was the partner of the child’s mother and was on occasion living with her under the same roof.
Chadwick denied any responsibility for those injuries and in December 2019 was informed the investigation had concluded and no further action was being taken against him or any other individual.
By early 2019, Chadwick and Ms Crilly were in a relationship and soon after various agencies became aware and were “accordingly concerned” about Orianna’s safety, said prosecutor Peter Wright QC.
Orianna’s injuries were said to be consistent with being picked up and swung against a very hard surface, stamped on or hit very hard with a blunt object.
Mr Wright said further examinations showed Orianna had also sustained serious non-accidental injuries to her spine and ribs on at least two separate occasions in the days leading up to her death in hospital on October 17 and she “must have been in obvious distress when handled”.
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