A man accused of murdering a 12-month-old baby girl has told a court he ‘took the blame’ for the child’s mother.
Jamie Chadwick, 22, said his girlfriend Chelsea Crilly, 20, kicked Orianna Crilly-Cifrova ‘flying’ the day before she died in hospital.
He said she ‘side-footed her underneath her bum’ and, when Chadwick asked what she was doing, Crilly replied: ‘I have hurt my baby’.
On October 16, Crilly returned to her flat in Radcliffe to find Orianna strapped in her pram but ‘floppy’ and ‘completely white’ and rushed her to hospital, the court heard.
The baby had a fractured skull, a fractured vertabrae in the neck and two fractured ribs and died at the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital when treatment was withdrawn on October 17.
A man accused of murdering a 12-month-old baby girl has told a court he ‘took the blame’ for the child’s mother Chelsea Crilly, 20 (pictured)
Chadwick told Manchester Crown Court that Crilly instructed him to tell police that he was on the toilet when Orianna crawled towards him and fell down some steps leading into the bathroom.
He went on to repeat that account in a police interview after he was arrested, but told a jury on Wednesday that was not the truth.
Chadwick, who is not Orianna’s father, said: ‘I loved Chelsea and I didn’t want her to get into trouble, I took the blame for her.
‘I should have just told the truth. While I have been sat in the dock Chelsea has been blaming me for everything.
Jamie Chadwick, 22, said Crilly, 20, (pictured) kicked Orianna Crilly-Cifrova ‘flying’ the day before she died in hospital
‘I should have told the truth at the start.’
Prosecutors said Chadwick inflicted a ‘particularly violent attack’ on the toddler.
She suffered multiple skull fractures consistent with being picked up and swung against a very hard surface, stamped on, or hit very hard with a blunt object.
Crilly is accused of allowing her daughter’s death after leaving her alone with Chadwick.
She allegedly knew he was being investigated at the time by police and social services, over unexplained injuries to another child.
Chadwick – who has learning difficulties – denied causing any injuries to the other six-month-old boy while living with the boy and his mother. No charges were brought.
He told jurors that Crilly knew about the investigation when they became a couple.
Chadwick said, when social services came to their address in Cross Lane, it was Crilly who suggested he hide under a bed.
Chadwick told his barrister, Andrew O’Byrne QC, he smoked cannabis and took cocaine with Crilly the night before October 16.
They also shared alcohol, he said, but he only had one glass and ‘she had the rest.’
He said he woke the next morning to see Orianna and her mother in the living room, with the youngster red in the face ‘like she had been crying for ages.’
Chadwick said he heard Crilly saying ‘shut up Orianna, shut up.’
On October 16, Crilly returned home to find Orianna strapped in her pram but ‘floppy’ and ‘completely white’ and rushed her to hospital, the court heard. Pictured, police at the scene
The baby had a fractured skull, a fractured vertabrae in the neck and two fractured ribs and died at the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital when treatment was withdrawn on October 17. Pictured, police at the scene
Crilly then picked up her child off the sofa and slammed her down on the floor and he said Orianna ‘properly burst out crying’.
When he returned from a shower, Orianna was still weeping with Crilly standing near to her, he continued.
Chadwick said: ‘I saw Chelsea side-foot her underneath her bum and she has gone flying.
‘Side-footed her pretty hard. I didn’t see where she hit something.
‘I said “Chelsea what are you playing at?” She said “I have hurt my baby”.’
He said Orianna was in her mother’s arms when he then noticed a ‘weird cry.’
Post-mortem examinations showed Orianna had also sustained non-accidental injuries to her spine and ribs on at least two separate occasions in the days leading up to her death.
Chadwick denies murder. Crilly denies allowing the death of a child.