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Man convicted of murdering his two-month-old daughter

Burrill murdered the helpless two-month-old Photo: Lancashire Police

A 31-year-old man from Fleetwood has been convicted of the murder of his two-month-old daughter.

John Burrill, of Gordon Street, was found guilty of killing Daisy Mae Burrill following a nine day trial at Preston Crown Court.

Innocent: Baby Daisy Mae Credit: Lancashire Police

Burrill, who had admitted manslaughter, will be sentenced tomorrow (Wednesday, October 26).

Police launched an investigation after a baby girl was found in a serious condition at an address on Warren Street, Fleetwood, around 6.30am on Friday, March 11.

The two-month-old baby, Daisy Mae Burrill, was taken to Blackpool Victoria Hospital by paramedics with a suspected cardiac arrest.

Doctors established she had suffered a single impact injury to the left side of her head from a hard surface, causing a fracture. She also had injuries consistent with being shaken.

Daisy Mae’s father, John Burrill and a 29-year-old woman from Fleetwood were later arrested on suspicion of wounding.

Burrill told police he had fed Daisy Mae around 3.30am and she fell asleep. She woke again a short time later and he took her downstairs in a Moses basket to settle her. He went outside for a cigarette and on his return found Daisy Mae unresponsive. An ambulance was called and paramedics took Daisy Mae to hospital.

The pair were bailed and Daisy Mae was transferred from Blackpool to Manchester Children's Hospital for further treatment, but she sadly died on Monday, March 14.

A Home Office post mortem examination revealed her death was as a result of a head injury.

Burrill was re-arrested on suspicion of murder and a 29-year-old woman detained on suspicion of causing/allowing the death of a child.

Following consultation with the Crown Prosecution Service, Burrill was charged with murder. The 29-year-old woman was released no charge.

Det Chief Insp Dean Holden, of Lancashire Police, welcomed today’s decision.

He said:

As Daisy Mae’s father John Burrill was in a position of trust – however, he abused this in a violent outburst which tragically led to her death.

While we will never know exactly what happened, his actions showed a man with extreme disregard for his defenceless baby daughter.

After being taken to hospital, medical experts agreed Daisy Mae had been critically injured. She had sustained a large fracture to the skull and injuries consistent with shaking.

Burrill is clearly a dangerous individual whose shocking actions robbed a family of a loved one.

While his conviction today will bring little comfort to Daisy Mae’s relatives, I hope it will go some way to assuring them justice has been achieved.

– Det Chief Insp Dean Holden

Daisy Mae’s mother, Ashlee Cox, added:

Daisy-Mae was taken from us at nine weeks old. She was a beautiful baby girl and a much-loved new addition to the family.

Words cannot express the pain and anguish my family and I have endured since Daisy-Mae’s death. This suffering has been made worse by John Burrill’s refusal to admit that he alone was responsible for her death.

Even though Daisy has gone, she will never be forgotten. She will be forever in our hearts and although justice has been served it will never bring her back.

We would now ask that we are left in peace to finally grieve our loss.

– Daisy Mae’s mother, Ashlee Cox