Father cuddled baby, then shot her

A YOUNG father kissed and cuddled the baby he had never held before laying her down and killing her with a shotgun, a jury was told yesterday.

David Edwards, 22, unemployed, of Luton, Bedfordshire, denies murdering his daughter, Charlene, seven months, and her mother, Marina Turvey, 19, his former girlfriend. He has admitted manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility. He denies attempting to murder Jonathan Turvey, Marina's husband. As his confessions to the killings, on 30 April, were read to St Albans Crown Court, members of the victims' family wept and left.

Edwards told police how he shot dead Mrs Turvey as she walked along Milton Road in Luton before snatching Charlene, who he had never had access to, and driving to a secluded woodland near the town.

'I finally had her, you know . . . I just wanted to spend some time with her but Marina was dead and I knew there would be searches,' he said.

'I walked through the woods - I just wanted to get away from the row. I took the shooter with me and she was crying. I walked out of the woods into a field and I sat down and tried to comfort her, talking to her, cuddling her, kissing her, and she quietened down a bit. She kept smiling and looking at me.'

However, the baby started crying again and he was unable to comfort her. 'I shot her . . . I just laid her down on her front and I just shot her.'

The trial continues today.