Father guilty of killing baby daughter

A father was found guilty today of murdering his seven-week-old baby.

Leeya Akinrele died after suffering a skull fracture and being bitten on her face and hands, jurors at Ipswich Crown Court were told.

Paramedics found Leeya apparently lifeless at her home in Whittlesey, Cambridgeshire, on December 18 2006.

She died 12 days later after a hospital life support machine was turned off when doctors decided that there was no prospect of recovery.

Leeya's parents, Kelly Inman, 22, and Olusola Akinrele, 34, both denied murdering her.

A jury of six women and five men found Akinrele guilty of murdering the baby.

Yesterday, Inman was cleared of the murder charge. She was also found not guilty of causing the death.

Inman had previously pleaded guilty to allowing the death to happen.

Prosecutor Yvonne Coen QC said evidence showed that Leeya had been repeatedly assaulted and suffered brain damage, plus injuries including a fractured thigh, ribs and fingers.

She said checks by doctors revealed that the baby's face and fingers had been bitten by an adult.

The court was told that in the two-and-a-half weeks following her birth, Leeya underwent routine checks by midwives and a health visitor and her condition had not caused concern.

But Miss Coen told jurors that in the 24 days leading up to a 999 call, Leeya had not been seen by health professionals and was in the care of her parents.

"Baby Leeya was completely failed by the very people she should have been able to rely on to care for her and protect her from harm," said prosecuting lawyer Sylvia Cundell from the Crown Prosecution Service.

"In the days leading up to her admission to hospital, she suffered multiple fractures and also bite marks to her face and hands, yet no medical attention was sought for her.

"On December 18 2006, Leeya went on to suffer the catastrophic brain injury which ultimately led to her death.

"We are very pleased that we have been able to prosecute this difficult and distressing case to a successful conclusion."

Inman and Akinrele will be sentenced at a later date which is yet to be confirmed.