Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.


Boy, 15, 'beat toddler to death'

A 15-year-old boy beat a toddler to death, a court heard today.

The boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, denies murdering two-year-old Demi Mahon on July 17 last year.

The child's mother, Ann Marie McDonald, sobbed as she gave evidence before jurors at Manchester Crown Court.

Ms McDonald told the jury of six men and six women that she left her daughter with the defendant at a house in Eccles, Salford, for around 90 minutes while she popped out to pick up her child benefit and buy a birthday card.

She said that when she returned he was standing outside the house with another man.

Ms McDonald said the defendant told her: "I picked her up - I might have hurt her - and she fell in the park."

She said she rushed into the house and found her daughter in bed with the bedclothes partially covering her face.

Ms McDonald said: "Her face was bruised. I tried to pick her up and her head flopped back. She couldn't breathe properly.

"I screamed 'Why haven't you rung an ambulance?' He said 'I never done nothing, I've not done nothing'."

Ms McDonald, who is known as Sindy, sobbed as she pointed to the defendant and said: "He did that to my daughter", before leaving the court in tears.

Prosecutor Howard Bentham QC said the defendant inflicted 68 injuries and a bite mark on the child.

He said: "When her small body was examined by Dr Naomi Carter, pathologist, Dr Carter found 68 sites of injury on that small body.

"We say every one of those injuries were caused by this young man. They were all over her body but many of them were to her head and face and Dr Carter drew the conclusion that young Demi had probably been punched repeatedly in the face."

Mr Bentham said Demi's mother described her daughter's face as bruised and soggy.

He said the defendant lied about what he had done and claimed Demi banged her head against a radiator and also against an ashtray.

Mr Bentham told the jury that the defence will argue that their client suffered an abnormality of mind which impaired his responsibility.