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Ashford man James Horton 'left daughter with broken arm', court told

A father left his young baby daughter with a broken arm after mistreating and abusing her, a court heard.

Scarlet Horton was also found to have several older fractures to her ribs.

She was just three-months-old when her father James Horton took her to the William Harvey Hospital in Ashford on March 30 last year.

Maidstone Crown Court heard he had been looking after Scarlet while her mother was visiting friends.

He later claimed the injury to the child's upper left arm may have been caused by her getting tangled up in the bars of her cot.

But the jury of eight men and four women was told he could not explain how she also had fractures to two of her left ribs and five of her right ribs.

Horton, of St Theresa's Close, Ashford, denies cruelty to a person under 16 and causing grievous bodily harm with intent. He also denies a lesser offence of inflicting grievous bodily harm.

Prosecutor Ian Acheson said it was the Crown's case 26-year-old Horton had "mistreated and abused" the baby while caring for her.

The jury, he said, did not have to prove the injuries had been planned or premeditated to convict him of the more serious grievous bodily harm charge.

"Those stresses and tensions (of caring for a baby) can be difficult to keep a lid on and it may be that the lid came off and the desire, albeit fleetingly, to shut her up may have formed the intent at the time," said Mr Acheson.

Medical evidence, combined with common sense, he said, would show that the baby could not have fractured her arm herself.

"The prosecution say he was responsible for her when her arm was injured in a way which simply cannot have happened accidentally by a young baby twisting awkwardly in her cot," he added.

Judge David Griffith-Jones QC had imposed an order banning identification of the child, but lifted it after considering written submissions from KM Group.

The trial continues.

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