A father-of-two who murdered his partner’s young daughter has been jailed for life.
Darryl Elliott, 30, violently shook 14-month-old Amelia Bowmar at their home in Sutton-on-Sea, Lincolnshire, last year. He had denied harming her.
Amelia was taken to hospital but died three days later.
At Nottingham Crown Court on Wednesday, a jury unanimously found Elliott guilty of murder and he was sentenced to life in prison with a minimum of 15 years.
Det Insp Helen Evans, speaking after the hearing, said: “This was a harrowing case to investigate.
“It is difficult to comprehend why someone would inflict such serious violence on a defenceless child but when that person is loved by the mother and the child, the abuse of trust makes the case all the more shocking.”
She added that he had 12 chances to tell doctors what he had done but never explained her injuries.
“The truth of what happened that afternoon has never been established,” she said.
Amelia was taken to hospital on 28 July last year after Elliott called 999 and told emergency services she had fallen off the sofa.
She was transferred to a specialist unit in Sheffield but despite doctors’ best efforts she died shortly after midnight on 31 July.
The court was told that medical experts said the damage to Amelia’s brain could not have been caused by the fall and that Elliott changed his story, later saying she slipped from his grasp in the bath.
But this, the prosecution said, did not fit with the facts.
Yvonne Coen QC, prosecuting, said: “While looking after the children, something inside him snapped and regrettably he took it out on Amelia.”
Elliott, who has two of his own children from a previous relationship, chose not to give evidence in his own defence.
‘He is devastated’
But his mother Elizabeth Peel told the jury he was a “loving and caring” dad.
Asked by defence barrister Paul Mann QC if he ever lost his temper with any of the children, she said “definitely not”.
“It’s changed him completely. He was always very bubbly and happy. He is devastated,” she said.
The jury unanimously found Elliott guilty of murder and Mr Justice MacDuff sentenced him to life in prison to serve a minimum of 15 years.