A 27-year-old man who killed his girlfriend’s disabled daughter because she did not want to eat her sandwich has been sentenced to 11 years behind bars.
Reports reveal how Paul Marsh reacted with ‘frustration’ and ‘anger’ when 3-year-old Jessica Dalgeish refused to eat her meal while he was watching football.
He then took the ‘extremely vulnerable’ girl upstairs before throwing her forcefully and recklessly onto the bed.
The force caused Jessica to hit her head against a hard surface.
Even though Marsh was trained in first aid, he did not call the ambulance right away and simply moved Jessica to a sofa.
The youngster’s skull was severely fractured and she tragically passed away three days later.
According to reports, the 27-year-old had only been living with his girlfriend and her daughter for a few months when the incident happened.
During the sentencing, the judge said: “I’m sentencing you on the basis that you didn’t intend to kill Jessica or cause her serious injury that day.
“But you assaulted this small child angrily and aggressively in circumstances which any reasonable person would have realized their actions carried the risk of some physical harm to Jessica.
“As soon as you had assaulted Jessica, you realized that something was seriously wrong but your first thought was for yourself. Jessica was unconscious and rigid. You decided immediately to try to cover up what you had done.”
The judge continued: “Tragically, the injuries that you had inflicted on Jessica were catastrophic and, despite the admirably skillful and professional efforts of the first responders and the hospital staff, there was no hope from the outset of Jessica surviving them.
“The whole family mourns the life that Jessica will not now have, and suffers from the trauma of knowing how she did.
“It is clear that the death of this lovely small child has caused great pain and suffering to a large number of people.”
“Jessica was a tiny child, whose age and learning difficulties meant that she was extremely vulnerable. They also meant that she had to be, and deserved to be, cared for patiently and sympathetically,” the judge said.
“You were the only adult in the house that day and Jessica had been left in your care. To the extent that she did anything that was challenging or annoying, it was obvious that it was not deliberate and was not her fault.
“There can be no conceivable excuse for you taking out your frustrations on Jessica.”
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