Father accused of baby girl's murder 'had short fuse and made things up'
- Credit: Brittany Woodman, Archant Norfolk
A father accused of the murder of his baby daughter was short tempered and would make things up to make his life look better, a court has heard.
Christopher Easey, 31, is on trial at Norwich Crown Court, charged with the murder of his three-month-old daughter, Eleanor.
Paramedics found her "pale, floppy and lethargic" after they were called to her Morton on the Hill home, near Lenwade at about 8.25pm on December 18, 2019.
She was later transferred to Addenbrooke's in Cambridge where she died on December 20 2019 as the result of a catastrophic brain injury. The prosecution asserts Eleanor died as a result of an "inflicted, non-accidental injury" by her father Christopher while her mother, Carly Easey, allowed the death to occur.
Giving evidence on Wednesday (January 19) Harriet Saward, the ex-partner of one of Christopher's brothers, Matthew, recalled the defendant being "short tempered" and said he could get "very angry".
She told the jury of six men and six women how she recalled Christopher having arguments with his brothers Matthew and Justin.
She said: "It was a very, very long time ago. I can't remember what the arguments were about, however Christopher's reaction was something that stayed with me."
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Elizabeth Marsh QC, defending Carly Easey, asked whether Christopher had a "short fuse, would get angry very quickly and start shouting and swearing".
Ms Saward replied: "Yes".
She was asked by Miss Marsh whether she thought Christopher "made things up to make his life look better".
The witness replied: "Yes".
She said Carly was "polite" and "genuine" and had "always been good" with her children.
Matthew Easey confirmed his younger brother had a "short temper" and "goes off right at the top end".
It was an assertion repeated when cross examined by Sally O'Neill, defending Christopher Easey.
He confirmed that Christopher "had a bit of a short fuse".
Miss O'Neill, put it to Matthew Easey that might well have been the case when he was a child, but asked whether it would be fair to say he had settled down a bit.
He replied Christopher had "always had a short fuse" but accepted he had seemed a "little more mellow" after moving out.
Matthew, who has children of his own, earlier told Oliver Wellings, prosecuting, that he had seen baby Eleanor a couple of times after she was born and before she died.
On the first occasion, when Eleanor was two to three weeks old, he went to visit his brother and Carly when her parents were there at their then home at Gayton.
He told Mr Wellings that Carly's parents were "holding the baby and being grandparents" but after they went Eleanor was put in a bouncy baby chair where she stayed.
He said: "She was very quiet, wrapped up in the bouncer and was very quiet. She stayed in there the rest of the time."
Matthew said he did not get to hold Eleanor which he thought was "a little strange" as he had been expecting to get a hold or a cuddle.
The defendant's oldest brother Justin also gave evidence during the trial on Wednesday.
He said while at his parents' house on December 11, 2019, Christopher popped in with Eleanor when he got a chance to hold her.
Justin said Eleanor felt "very rigid for a new born" with her "hands clenched".
He said: "She seemed like a doll - she was very rigid."
Christopher Easey, of Ely Road, Little Thetford, Ely, has denied murdering Eleanor and a charge of cruelty to a person under 16.
Carly Easey, 36, of Elizabeth Drive, Chedburgh, has denied causing or allowing the death of a child and a charge of cruelty to a person under 16.
The trial continues.