Frustrated father shook daughter to death because she was screaming too loudly as he played 'Assassin's Creed'

Mark Sandland killed his five-week-old daughter and lied to try and cover it up, claiming to have suffered 'an epileptic fit' and woken up on top of her

A man has been jailed for eight years after he killed his baby daughter because she would not stop screaming when he was trying to play a computer game.

Mark Sandland claimed he suffered an epileptic fit while holding five-week-old Aimee-Rose and came round to find himself lying on top of her.

But a court heard that the 28-year-old had actually been playing Assassin’s Creed 3 on his PlayStation at the time and, during a sudden loss of temper, picked up his child by the torso and shook her.

Police who attended Sandland’s flat in St Leonards-on-Sea, East Sussex, on 5 November 2012 said they found a PlayStation controller on the sofa opposite the TV, which was turned off.

Prosecutor Sally Howes, QC, said that evidence from his mobile phone showed Sandland had logged on to a website providing a walkthrough guide of how to play the video game at 2.22pm – just 16 minutes before he called 999 to request an ambulance.

The nature of the step-by-step instructions on the site meant there would have been little point to accessing it unless the game was being played at the time, Ms Howes said.

A text sent at around lunchtime from Sandland to Aimee-Rose’s mother, who went to attend her first class at the University of Brighton's Hastings campus at 9.30am said: “She hasn’t shut up since about half an hour after you left.”

Mr Justice Sweeney said: “It's the Crown's case that thereafter, frustrated with the game and with Aimee-Rose screaming, you lost your temper and you assaulted her, gripping her torso hard and violently shaking her.

“Whilst it's impossible to identify the precise detail of what you did, the injuries that you caused Aimee-Rose speak for themselves.”

Sandland had been playing Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed 3 when he killed his daughter in a sudden burst of anger Sandland had been playing Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed 3 when he killed his daughter in a sudden burst of anger Sandland had been charged with murder, but pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter on the grounds of lack of intent – a plea which the Crown accepted.

He sobbed in the dock at Hove Crown Court today as Mr Justice Sweeney said he had lied and tried to cover up his actions.

Mr Justice Sweeney told him: “Whilst you have no recollection now of the fatal incident, it's obvious that at the time you appreciated what you had done and in consequence lied and sought to cover up what had actually happened.

“You pretended on the phone that you had a fit. You turned off the television to cover up the fact that you had been on the PlayStation.

“Thereafter you continued to lie and cover up to those who were trying to treat Aimee-Rose, although I stress that they wouldn't have done anything different if you had told the truth, and to the police.”

The baby suffered a range of injuries including bruising to her face, chest, abdomen, hip and lower limbs, as well as subdural haemorrhages in a number of locations.

She was taken to the Conquest Hospital in St Leonards and though a heart-beat was re-established she was unconscious, unresponsive and unable to breathe without the aid of a machine.

She was transferred to the paediatric intensive care unit at King's College Hospital, London, but died four days after the incident on 9 November 2012.

The judge said Sandland’s sentence was aggravated by the fact that he had been in a position of trust over the vulnerable five-week-old, repeatedly lied to cover up his actions and had shown no real remorse throughout the case.

Sandland will serve half of his eight-year sentence, the judge said, after which he will remain on licence.

News
people
News
people And here is why...
News
peopleStella McCartney apologises over controversial Instagram picture
Life and Style
Laid bare: the Good2Go app ensures people have a chance to make their intentions clear about having sex
techCould Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Burr remains the baker to beat on the Great British Bake Off
tvRichard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
News
i100
Sport
footballArsenal 4 Galatasaray 1: Wenger celebrates 18th anniversary in style
Arts and Entertainment
Amazon has added a cautionary warning to Tom and Jerry cartoons on its streaming service
tv
News
people
News
The village was originally named Llansanffraid-ym-Mechain after the Celtic female Saint Brigit, but the name was changed 150 years ago to Llansantffraid – a decision which suggests the incorrect gender of the saint
newsWelsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?
Arts and Entertainment
Kristen Scott Thomas in Electra at the Old Vic
theatreReview: Kristin Scott Thomas is magnificent in a five-star performance of ‘Electra’
Life and Style
Couples who boast about their relationship have been condemned as the most annoying Facebook users
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Hayley Williams performs with Paramore in New York
musicParamore singer says 'Steal Your Girl' is itself stolen from a New Found Glory hit
News
i100
Life and Style
The spring/summer 2015 Louis Vuitton show for Paris Fashion Week
fashion
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Italian couples fake UK divorce scam on an ‘industrial scale’

Welcome to Maidenhead, the divorce capital of... Italy

A look at the the legal tourists who exploited our liberal dissolution rules
Time to stop running: At the start of Yom Kippur and with anti-Semitism flourishing, one Jew can no longer ignore his identity

Time to stop running

At the start of Yom Kippur and with anti-Semitism flourishing, one Jew can no longer ignore his identity
Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

The vintage series has often been criticised for racial stereotyping
An app for the amorous: Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?

An app for the amorous

Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?
Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid. Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?

Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid

Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?
Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

After a few early missteps with Chekhov, her acting career has taken her to Hollywood. Next up is a role in the BBC’s gangster drama ‘Peaky Blinders’
She's having a laugh: Britain's female comedians have never had it so good

She's having a laugh

Britain's female comedians have never had it so good, says stand-up Natalie Haynes
Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LED lights designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows

Let there be light

Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LEDs designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows
Great British Bake Off, semi-final, review: Richard remains the baker to beat

Tensions rise in Bake Off's pastry week

Richard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
Paris Fashion Week, spring/summer 2015: Time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris

A look to the future

It's time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris
The 10 best bedspreads

The 10 best bedspreads

Before you up the tog count on your duvet, add an extra layer and a room-changing piece to your bed this autumn
Stuart Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

This deal gives England a head-start to prepare for 2019 World Cup, says Chris Hewett
Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
The magic of roundabouts

Lords of the rings

Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?