Seaman guilty of murdering lover's child, 5

A MERCHANT seaman was found guilty yesterday of the murder of his former girlfriend's five-year-old daughter.

Graham Sate, 25, of Grimsby, was also convicted of cruelty towards Lauren Creed by a jury at Norwich Crown Court.

Lauren's mother, Sharon Creed, 25, a Senior Aircraftwoman in the RAF, also from Grimsby, had admitted two charges of cruelty towards her daughter at an earlier hearing.

Last night it emerged that Sate had been out of prison for only 10 months when he murdered Lauren at her home.

Minutes after finding him guilty of her murder, the jury was told that he had previously been convicted of the attempted murder of a taxi driver and of a vicious attack on a fellow inmate while in jail.

Sate, who was living with Lauren and her mother when the girl was killed, showed no emotion as details of his previous violence were disclosed.

Yesterday, Norfolk social services refused to discuss why Lauren had not been placed on its child protection register despite the presence in her household of such a violent person, and a series of complaints by concerned neighbours. The local authority said it would be inappropriate to comment ahead of the sentencing of the pair tomorrow.

Lauren was declared dead shortly after paramedics found her on the floor of her home at RAF Coltishall in October 1997, Norwich Crown Court was told during the five-day trial. Pathologists said she had died as a result of having her liver split and crushed against her spinal column. The court was told she had either been punched or kicked as she stood against a wall, or stamped on as she lay on the floor.

The court was told that Lauren, 3ft 1in and 4st 6lb, was found to have 167 fresh bruises and abrasions and a fractured rib. Doctors said the injuries had been inflicted during a "sustained attack" in the 24 hours before her death.

Sate had lived with Creed and Lauren for four months in married quarters and Lauren even began calling him "Daddy".

In court, Sate, who denied murder and cruelty, blamed Lauren's death on Creed and said he had done nothing more that occasionally smack the child's bottom. But a tape recording of the dead child's voice contradicted this, and the startling piece of evidence may well have secured the conviction of her murderer.

On the tape, made by next-door neighbour Sofiah Baker three months before Lauren died, the girl says: "Daddy punched me in the belly today, slapped me, punched me."

Mrs Baker had taken the matter into her own hands after her husband, Gregg, an RAF police corporal, pointed out swellings on Lauren's cheeks and jaw.

But Sate, whom they approached, said any bruises were caused by accidents. Norfolk social services apparently believed the explanation.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Voices
Barn owls are among species that could be affected
charity appeal
News
Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
Arts and Entertainment
The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
Sport
After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
cricketEoin Morgan reportedly to take over ODI captaincy
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Finance Director

£65000 - £80000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Finance Director required to jo...

Recruitment Genius: Medico-Legal Assistant

£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique opportunity fo...

Ashdown Group: (PHP / Python) - Global Media firm

£50000 per annum + 26 days holiday,pension: Ashdown Group: A highly successful...

The Jenrick Group: Quality Inspector

£27000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: A Quality Technician...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas