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.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment
Stik on the crane as he completed the mural
art
News
Happy in his hat: Pharrell Williams
people
News
i100(More than you think)
News
Phyllis Dorothy James on stage during a reading of her book 'Death Comes to Pemberley' last year
peopleJohn Walsh pays tribute to PD James, who died today
News
peopleExclusive: Maryum and Hana Ali share their stories of the family man behind the boxing gloves
Arts and Entertainment
John Hurt will voice Prince Bolkonsky in Radio 4's War and Peace
radioRadio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
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: Graduate Programme - Online Location Services Business

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: What do you want to do with your career? Do yo...

Recruitment Genius: Senior QC Scientist

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This company is a leading expert in immunoassa...

Recruitment Genius: Development Scientist

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Development Scientist is required to join a ...

Recruitment Genius: Accountant

£25000 - £100000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join...

Day In a Page

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game
There's a Good Girl exhibition: How female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising

In pictures: There's a Good Girl exhibition

The new exhibition reveals how female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising
UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover - from advent calendars to doll's houses

UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover

It worked with cupcakes, doughnuts and macarons so no wonder someone decided to revamp the humble biscuit
Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

It's no surprise that the building game born in Sweden in 2009 and now played by millions, has imitators keen to construct their own mega money-spinner
The King's School is way ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology

Staying connected: The King's School

The school in Cambridgeshire is ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology. Richard Garner discovers how teachers and pupils stay connected
Christmas 2014: 23 best women's perfumes

Festively fragrant: the best women's perfumes

Give a loved one a luxe fragrance this year or treat yourself to a sensual pick-me-up
Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition

Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund

The Ox celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition
Billy Joe Saunders vs Chris Eubank Jnr: When two worlds collide

When two worlds collide

Traveller Billy Joe Saunders did not have a pampered public-school upbringing - unlike Saturday’s opponent Chris Eubank Jnr
Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

Putin’s far-right ambition

Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?