Man guilty of killing toddler whose ‘smile lit up the room’ after causing her a ‘catastrophic’ brain injury
Brandon Heath was found guilty of the manslaughter of the toddler and will be sentenced next week
Brandon Heath has been found guilty of killing a toddler leaving her with a ‘catastrophic’ brain injury.
A man has been found guilty of killing a toddler whose “smile lit up the room”, by leaving her with a “catastrophic” brain injury.
Brandon Heath was described by police as remorseless and arrogant individual who had shown a “total lack” of compassion towards the 22-month-old little girl.
A jury found the 22-year-old guilty of manslaughter following a three-week trial at Chester Crown Court.
The girl’s mum, who described Heath as a “monster” paid tribute to her daughter and said her “heart aches every day”at her loss.
The court heard how on Sunday, 30 August, 2020, Heath called for an ambulance after finding the girl “collapsed” on the floor, having just got her out of her high chair.
Paramedics swiftly attended and found the child in the first-floor bedroom, struggling to breathe with an abnormal swelling to the back of her head.
Heath had been the only adult present at the time, though he later tried to blame the girl’s mother even though she wasn’t there at the time.
He told paramedics that she had fallen off a bed and must have hit her head.
He said she had become sleepy, so he had brought her upstairs and left her in the bedroom for a moment, returning to find her struggling to breathe.
Post-mortem revealed toddler had ‘catastrophic brain injury’
When Heath was quizzed by police about events due to the girl’s injuries he told officers a different version of events about the moments following the girl’s death, saying he’d taken the child out of her highchair as she was “whingy”.
He had then left her to play and when he returned, he saw her lying on the floor.
Initial observations from an air ambulance doctor suggested the child had sustained a severe brain injury and as a result, she was taken to Alder Hey Hospital.
The little girl underwent emergency neurosurgery but despite best efforts, her condition deteriorated.
On 31 August 2020, life support was withdrawn, and the child sadly passed away.
A post-mortem examination revealed that she had sustained a catastrophic brain injury.
She also had bleeding within and around her eyes, bruising to the body, along with rib fractures and damage to nerves in the neck.
Experts determined that she had suffered a significant traumatic head injury which, in their opinion, could not have been caused by accident.
And on 21 July, last year, Heath was arrested and subsequently charged with murder.
During the course of him giving his evidence, Heath was unable to account for a 12 or 13 minute passage of time after he had been left alone with the girl .
Case is ‘indescribably tragic’
Detective Inspector Adam Waller, who led the investigation, said: “This case is indescribably tragic and due to the complicated medical evidence, the family have had to wait many, many months for justice and I’d like to pay testament to their patience.
“Heath had already been interviewed by police both before and immediately after the child’s death and was further interviewed in July 2021 under caution – officers put to him the various inconsistencies in what he had claimed from 30 August 2020 onwards.
“Yet he told police that he couldn’t recall what he had allegedly said and continued to deny causing injury or harm to the girl.
“The medical evidence clearly pointed towards a sudden catastrophic assault on the little girl and although Heath was alone with her at the time, in order to conceal his involvement, he lied about the circumstances.
“He was unable to think on his feet and come up with a plausible or consistent account which was ultimately his undoing.
“The level of injury caused to the child was described by one of the pathology experts as being akin to a road traffic collision or multi-storey fall.
“The fact that he blamed the mother of the child who wasn’t even present at the time just demonstrates the total lack of compassion and cowardice in not taking responsibility for his actions against a defenceless little girl.
“He has shown an arrogance and a total lack of remorse throughout this case including while in court.”
In a tribute, the little girl’s mother said: “She was always so happy and full of life, the happiest cheekiest little girl you had ever seen.
“Her smile lit up the whole room. Her personality was so big, my heart aches every day. I thank Adam Waller and the team for bringing the truth to light and bringing that monster to justice.”
Heath, who was found not guilty of murder, will be sentenced on Tuesday 8 March at Chester Crown Court.
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