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
She was just three-months-old when her father James Horton took
her to the William Harvey Hospital in Ashford on March 30 last
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
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
Prosecutor Ian Acheson said it was the Crown's case 26-year-old
Horton had "mistreated and abused" the baby while caring for
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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