06:30PM, Thursday 28 January 2016
An Old Windsor mother whose 23-month-old daughter died from an ‘abusive head trauma’ has said she ‘didn’t for one moment think’ that her former boyfriend would deliberately hurt the child.
Kirsty Lee, of Grove Close, is on trial at Guildford Crown Court charged with causing or allowing the death of toddler Cara Lee-Fanus, who was left brain dead from a severe head injury and died on Thursday, May 29, 2014.
The 26-year-old mother is also accused of causing or allowing serious physical harm to a child. She has pleaded not guilty to both charges.
Alistair Wayne Bowen, 36, Lee’s former boyfriend, had faced the same charges but the court heard he hanged himself in July.
Lee shook and wept as she gave evidence from the dock today (Thursday).
She told the court that Bowen, who had previous convictions for assault and a record of domestic violence, had ‘doted’ on Cara since the couple started their relationship in March 2014.
A CT scan revealed the toddler had been severely shaken or smothered. She also had 21 different injury marks including two distinctive ‘branding-like’ burns which appeared to have been caused by someone holding a hairdryer close to her skin.
Lee told jurors that Bowen called her on Thursday, May 22 to say he had accidentally burned little Cara while he was drying her after a bath at Lee’s Egham house.
“He played it down. I wasn’t expecting the distinctive marks that were there,” Lee said.
“I was furious. I said to him ‘how could you be so stupid?’
“I didn’t for one moment think that he had deliberately hurt her, I thought it was just stupidity.”
Explaining Cara’s severe head injury, Lee told the court that Bowen told her he accidentally dropped a shower head on the youngster’s head while he was bathing her.
Lee could not recall the date this had happened but said it was sometime between May 22 and May 26.
Bowen admitted causing Cara’s burns in a suicide note which was written on the back of a letter notifying him of his next court appearance.
The trial continues and is expected to run until the end of next week.
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