Poppi Worthington: Father refuses to answer questions at second inquest

The father of Poppi Worthington refused to answer questions 69 times at the second inquest into his circumstances surrounding his daughter's death.

Paul Worthington, 49, who was the last person to see his daughter alive, repeatedly said: "I refer to my previous statements, I don't wish to answer".

Mr Worthington smiled slightly when he gave his first stock answer in the courtroom at County Hall, Kendal. He smiled slightly again a number of times as he repeated the phrase throughout the afternoon hearing.

The former Asda supermarket worker has been in hiding for about two years since a family court judge ruled he probably sexually assaulted 13-month-Poppi before she collapsed at her home in Barrow-in-Furness in December 2012. She died in hospital more than a hour later.

As he took the witness stand, counsel to the inquest Alison Hewitt explained to Mr Worthington there would be "no trick questions".

Mr Worthington first attempted to decline answering questions on when his relationship with Poppi's mother began, under rule 22 of the Coroner's Inquest Rules 2013, which protects witnesses from incriminating themselves.

But coroner David Roberts said the question was "perfectly straightforward", not self-incriminating and he must answer.

Mr Worthington told the coroner that Poppi's birth was unplanned and he later had a vasectomy.

But when asked about general sleeping arrangements in the household and how it would compare with the fateful events of the early hours of 12 December 2012, Mr Worthington declined to comment.

He also refused to answer detailed questions about the minutes and hours leading up to the death of Poppi.

Mr Worthington choose not to answer Miss Hewitt's questions about events on the dates of 11 and 12 December.

Poppi's mother sat in court next to her legal team and held her head in her hands before leaving about 40 minutes into Mr Worthington's evidence.

Miss Hewitt continued: "Do you agree that from 2am, 2.30am on the 12th of December that the events from that point onwards to you carrying Poppi downstairs not breathing, that you are the only person who can account for the events between the two times?"

Mr Worthington replied again: "I refer to my previous statements."

He was also asked about his use of a laptop in bed, which he had said previously he used to view "X rated adult stuff".

Miss Hewitt asked about the reference to pornography and the type of pornography.

Again the witness refused to give an answer.