Mental breakdown caused father to kill his daughter

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The Independent Online

A City high-flyer killed his daughter after suffering a mental breakdown within days of watching the horror film Bug, the Old Bailey heard yesterday.

Alberto Izaga, aged 36, smashed two-year-old Yanire on the floor of his apartment on 3 June. She died two days later in hospital from brain damage.

He was found not guilty of murder due to insanity and sent to a mental hospital without limit of time.

His illness had been developing for about four days but Izaga was able to function. The family had returned to London from a trip to America which ended on 28 May. During a visit to New York, he and his wife Ligia had watched the film Bug about a man who is driven mad as he tries to protect his girlfriend from body-piercing bugs in a motel room.

On 29 May, Izaga flew to Geneva for a conference of senior staff from his company Swiss Re of which he was the top London executive.

Some people thought he looked stressed during the visit. After returning to London he complained that he had not slept for three days. The court was told that Izaga, who was born in Spain, began ranting about religion, the film and a sect recruiting financial executives to take over the world when he woke at 4.30am on 3 June.

After hours of raving, Izaga picked the child up from her cot. She started crying when he began to shake her. His daughter tried to leave but he blocked her path and launched a vicious assault which left her with fractures in her skull.

He said: "I know what I have to do, I have to kill her."

David Rees QC, for the defence, said : "If ever a case deserves to be described as truly tragic, this is surely it."