Force used to cause baby's ribs injuries was 'way beyond rough play', Preston Crown Court hears

Laura Langley called 999 and said 'her daughter wasn't breathing'. Credit: ITV News

A baby girl allegedly squeezed to death was subjected to a "substantial force that was way beyond rough play”, a court has heard.

Blackpool mum Laura Langley, 37, is on trial at Preston Crown Court accused of murdering her daughter Edith by inflicting "terrible injuries”.

The seven-week old baby suffered 33 rib fractures "most likely" caused by squeezing or compressive force to the ribcage, the jury heard.

Professor David Mangham, a consultant pathologist and specialist in bones, told the court that 30 of the fractures happened hours before death, including "very close" to it.

He also told the court he identified three cracked ribs which happened between two and four days earlier: "This is a very high number of fractures to identify in these kind of cases.

"That implies a high level of force - a substantial force being delivered that was way beyond rough play and something that would alarm an onlooker."

The delivery driver was sentenced at Preston Crown Court. Credit: PA Images

Professor Mangham added: “I don’t deny CPR could have caused some of the anterior (front) fractures but it can’t account for all of them.

“The number is too high and the severity of the fractures is too great. And also there are some older fractures which obviously are not CPR.”

Laura Langley called emergency services just before 4am on Friday 20 November 2020 and said her daughter was not breathing.

Paramedics arrived at the home on Belgrave Road, Marton, within minutes and took over chest compressions.

Edith was taken to Blackpool Victoria Hospital but could not be revived and was pronounced dead at 4.43am.

Prosecuting Timothy Cray KC said in the days after her daughter's death, Langley said it was sudden and unexplained.

Mr Cray told the court the “furthest she went” in regards to her own responsibility was to blame herself for drinking alcohol on the Thursday night and into the Friday morning.

The barrister told the jury: “The post-mortem evidence suggests that, sadly, those accounts from the defendant were untrue because Edith had died from terrible injuries.”

Langley denies murder and child cruelty.