A male babysitter allegedly killed a 21-month-old girl by shaking and battering her in an attack which caused a catastrophic brain injury, a court has heard.
Lily Hanrahan, from
Birmingham Crown Court heard Lilly was born in good health on February 21, 2016, although her mother was a heroin addict.
She was soon discharged into the care of her grandmother before another woman was appointed as her special guardian, and she moved into her home on July 7.
It was said Lilly’s guardian then began a ‘relationship’ with Sadler, 32, and the woman soon became concerned about bruises which had appeared on the child’s body.
Later, on November 19, 2017, Lilly was rushed to Birmingham Children’s Hospital after she was found unresponsive at her home. She died three days later.
The child was found with bruises on the top of her scalp, grip marks on both of her thighs and ‘extensive bleeding into the back of her eyes’.
Sadler, from Northfield, has denied murder and wounding with intent.
Lily Hanrahan, from Birmingham, was left with bruises where she had allegedly been gripped by Sean Sadler and six broken ribs following the incident in November 2017. Pictured: Birmingham Children’s Hospital
Jonas Hankin QC, prosecuting, said Lilly’s special guardian began a relationship with Sadler ‘in the spring of 2017’, adding that the woman soon started to leave the child in his care.
He said: ‘The special guardian began a relationship with the defendant. It began in the spring of 2017 and he became a regular visitor and often stayed the night.
‘She began to leave Lilly in his care.’
The woman soon became concerned about bruises on Lilly’s body and took her to hospital but there had been no concerns of abusive handling.
She had also raised her concerns with a nursery Lilly attended and she was monitored but nothing exceptional was noted, the court heard.
But, said Mr Hankin, a 999 call was made on November 19, 2017 and when paramedics arrived at Lilly’s home they found her unresponsive.
She was taken to hospital a state of deep coma which continued to worsen.
‘When her hair was shaved, several bruises were found on the top of her scalp and further grip marks on both of her thighs,’ Mr Hankin said.
‘Medical investigations revealed extensive bleeding into the back of her eyes `
‘Lilly died three days after she was admitted to the Children’s Hospital.
‘There followed post-mortem investigations which showed she had sustained a catastrophic brain injury. She also sustained six broken ribs.’
Sadler, from Northfield, has denied murder and wounding with intent at Birmingham Crown Court
Birmingham Crown Court heard Lilly was born in good health on February 21, 2016, although her mother was a heroin addict. Pictured: Birmingham Children’s Hospital
Lilly also had three fractured vertebrae in her spine, jurors were told.
The period of three days she spent at the Children’s Hospital allowed for extensive medical investigation.
‘There was no evidence of natural disease. She was a normal healthy girl,’ Mr Hankin said.
‘She had no recent significant illness or accident. The head injury that caused her death was between the times she was last seen to be well and when she lost consciousness.
‘It occurred when she was in the care of Sean Sadler. The prosecution contends that Sean Sadler caused the death of Lilly by assaulting her and he is responsible for her murder.
‘The likely mechanism was forceful shaking, possibly involving an impact on a yielding surface such as the armrest of a sofa.
‘Sadler also caused her older injuries, the fractures to the vertebrae and bleeding in the lungs.’
He said these were also caused by forceful shaking.
When quizzed about what had happened, Sadler said on the day of her collapse Lilly had been ‘perfectly fine’ and, after watching TV, had taken a nap.
He said he had then been unable to rouse her.
The trial continues.
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