Drunk dad kills baby daughter during nappy change

Stephen Gallagher

A doting dad killed his 14-week old baby girl when he tried to change her nappy while "horribly drunk".

Skylar Cowan Gallagher, who was born seven weeks premature, had been left in the care of her father, 35-year-old Stephen Gallagher, while her mother went out for the night last June.

Newcastle Crown Court heard when the baby's mother, Angela Cowan, left the family home, her baby girl was content, clean and asleep in her bouncy chair in the living room.

When she returned early the next morning, her young daughter was lying face-down and lifeless on the rug, without her nappy on.

The baby's father, who had been downing cans of lager and cider and was so drunk he urinated under the fish tank, was asleep on the sofa, with no memory of what had happened to his baby.

Despite the desperate mum's frantic effort to get help for her little girl, she was pronounced dead at hospital from asphyxiation.

Gallagher, of Hepscott Avenue, Blackhall Colliery, County Durham, has never been able to explain what exactly happened to the baby girl.

He admitted causing or allowing the death of a child and has been jailed for 32 months.