Man found guilty of killing his baby daughter

Eleanor Easey pictured when she was just a few weeks old.

Eleanor Easey pictured when she was just a few weeks old. - Credit: Supplied by Norfolk Constabulary on behalf of family.

A man has been found guilty of the manslaughter of his baby daughter and his ex-wife of neglect towards their child.

Christopher Easey, 31, has been on trial at Norwich Crown Court charged with the murder of three-month-old Eleanor.

Christopher Easey is on trial accused of the murder of his three-month-old daughter Eleanor.

Christopher Easey is on trial at Norwich Crown Court accused of the murder of his three-month-old daughter Eleanor. - Credit: Brittany Woodman, Archant Norfolk

Carly Easey, 36 - who is now divorced from Christopher - had been on trial accused of allowing the death of her daughter as well as cruelty.

Carly Easey who is going on trial having been accused of causing or allowing the death of a child, and neglect.

Carly Easey who is going on trial at Norwich Crown Court having been accused of causing or allowing the death of a child, and neglect. - Credit: Brittany Woodman, Archant Norfolk

Eleanor died from a catastrophic brain injury two days after being admitted to hospital on December 18, 2019 after paramedics were called to the family home at Morton on the Hill.

Morton on the Hill, near Lenwade where Christopher and Caryl Easey lived when Eleanor died in December 2019.

Morton on the Hill, near Lenwade where Christopher and Carly Easey lived when Eleanor died in December 2019. - Credit: Peter Walsh, Archant Norfolk

Both defendants had denied all offences, but on Wednesday (March 30) Christopher Easey was found not guilty of murder but guilty of manslaughter by a jury following more than 20 hours of deliberations.

He was also found guilty of neglect to daughter.

Carly Easey was found not guilty of allowing the death of her daughter but guilty of neglect.

Christopher and Carly Easey who are both on trial following the death of Eleanor Easey.

Christopher and Carly Easey who are both on trial following the death of Eleanor Easey. - Credit: From Facebook

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Christopher Easey, of Ely Road, Little Thetford, Ely, showed no emotion as the verdicts were announced, while Carly Easey, of Elizabeth Drive, Chedburgh, appeared tearful and upset.

The honourable Mr Justice Murray, who adjourned the case for sentencing, told Christopher Easey: "You have been found guilty of the manslaughter of Eleanor Easey and you have also been found guilty of cruelty.

"In view of the verdict and in light of the seriousness and basis on which you were found guilty of manslaughter I am remanding you in custody to await sentencing."

Verdicts in the case followed a 10-week trial during which the jury heard that baby Eleanor had sustained 31 rib fractures, including 17 at the front and 14 at the back, which were found to have occurred at four different times.

Medical experts described to the jury how the injuries Eleanor suffered were "strongly indicative of inflicted injury" while another expert found "a single traumatic event cannot explain these injuries".

Sally Howes QC, prosecuting, told the jury that Christopher Easey was "responsible for those earlier injuries" and was "ultimately responsible for the death of Eleanor".

Ms Howes said Eleanor died from "a deliberate non-accidental injury involving some form of shaking and probably an impact to the right side of her head".

She said Christopher Easey's account of the injuries having occurred after he gave Eleanor a "resuscitative shake" was a "pack of utter lies".

She said he "must have intended to cause at least really serious harm to that infant because he's aware of what he's doing and he's done it before".

Miss Howes said Carly Easey had been aware of the risk to her baby and "failed to protect Eleanor" by leaving her with Christopher and continuing to do so.

Sally O'Neill, defending Christopher Easey, said that while he had admitted during the trial that his actions resulted in what ultimately happened to Eleanor, he had not deliberately caused the death of his daughter.

Elizabeth Marsh QC, defending Carly Easey, said Eleanor suffered "no injuries attributable to Carly" who had "witnessed nothing" and there was "no evidence to suggest she did".

Christopher Easey and Carly Easey will be sentenced April 29 at Norwich Crown Court.

Both parents had been on bail throughout the 10-week trial. The judge extended the bail of Carly Easey to reappear at court for sentencing.