Newborn baby 'violently killed as parents argued,' court told

Newcastle Crown Court. Picture care of Google Images.
Newcastle Crown Court. Picture care of Google Images.

A newborn baby was violently killed during a row between her parents, a court heard.

Tequiilah Burke, who was just four months old, suffered fatal injuries when her mother Victoria Burke argued with boyfriend Paul Nicholson about her coming home late from working at a nightclub, it is claimed.

Newcastle Crown Court heard prosecutors cannot prove who inflicted the physical violence on the baby girl and who stood by "and did nothing to prevent it".

Burke, 24, and Nicholson, 20, are both accused of causing or allowing the death of a child.

They both deny the charge and claim the baby just stopped breathing while she was asleep in her cot.

The pair are being tried by a jury at Newcastle Crown Court.

Prosecutor Robert Smith QC told the court Burke and Nicholson, who claimed he was the baby's natural father though it was denied by the mother, had been in their home at Crigdon Hill, East Denton, Newcastle, alone when an ambulance was called for the baby in the early morning of December 14 2013.

Despite desperate efforts to revive her, the baby was pronounced dead in hospital.

Mr Smith said injuries found after her death, to her eyes and brain as well as bruising, indicate she had been subjected to "physical violence" and there was also evidence of an older head injury.

The court heard in the days before the baby's death Burke and Nicholson had been arguing about her recent employment in a nightclub.

Nicholson was suspicious about her "association with other men" through the job.

The court heard on the morning of the baby's death, Burke had gone to meet pals after she finished work at three am and returned home after six in the morning.

It was during the argument that followed her return that the baby received the fatal injuries, prosecutors claim.

Mr Smith said: "It is likely, the prosecution submit, Tequiilah was injured during the course of the argument by one or other or both of the defendants,

each of them exhibiting loss of temper towards the other."

Burke and Nicholson both deny using violence on the baby and deny the charge.

The trial continues.