Mum's partner 'smothered toddler to dealth after shouting at her for crying', Sheffield court told

A man fatally "smothered" his partner's 23-month-old daughter after repeatedly threatening her with violence when she cried, a court heard.

Thursday, 10th October 2019, 10:25 am
Updated Thursday, 10th October 2019, 10:58 am

Jonathan Garner was heard by a neighbour shouting he was going to sit with Mia Gregson until she went to sleep and "make sure she doesn't get up" just hours before she died.

Police were called by neighbours just weeks before the little girl's death on February 13, 2014 who were concerned by the "hideous yelling", the court heard.

Garner allegedly told Mia he would "smack" her arse if she didn't stop crying.

Samantha Gregson, 25, charged with causing or allowing her death of a child, arrives at Sheffield Crown Court - SWNS

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Prosecutor Robert Smith QC described Garner as "prone to outbursts of temper" which would see him shout "shut the f**k up" at Mia every day.

The court heard a transcript of the concerned neighbour's call to police, which reported the shouting as starting at "10 or 11 in the morning and going on all day".

The neighbour asked police: "Can you send someone round to make sure the kid is all right? He's really losing his rag."

Tiny Mia was just 23 months old when she died of brain damage caused by a lack of oxygen after suffering a cardiac arrest at her home, the court heard.

Garner and her mother, Samantha Gregson ran out into the street for help when Mia had stopped breathing.

Garner told police the couple had fallen asleep on one settee in the living room and Mia was asleep on the other.

He claimed that when they woke up, Mia was not breathing, the court heard.

Neighbours attempted CPR and Mia was rushed to hospital, but she had suffered "irreversible" brain damage.

Mr Smith told Sheffield Crown Court, South Yorks., Mia's brain had been deprived of oxygen and, even though doctors has revived her blood circulation, her condition was considered to be "unrevivable".

The court heard little Mia had been a perfectly healthy baby with no history of heart problems.

Mr Smith said Mia died as a result of smothering, which involved placing something, possibly a hand, over her mouth and nose, or by pushing her face into a cushion.

The court heard Mia had suffered a number of "unexplained" injuries associated with forceful contact with her teeth, which suggested a hand had been placed over her mouth.

Mr Smith said: "As a result of her suffocation, she suffered a cardiac arrest. Her heart and breathing stopped which caused irreversible brain damage.

"The prosecution contends that Jonathan Garner was responsible for the act of smothering Mia Gregson."

He said the act of smothering had taken place while Samantha Gregson was present in the house.

He added: "The two defendants were in the same household and lived together.

"She was well aware of the risk of serious injury Jonathan Garner posed to her daughter and did nothing about it."

The jury were shown pictures of bruising to Mia's left cheek, right forehead, below the chin and to her upper back.

Mr Smith said a post mortem conducted after Mia's death could not rule out asphyxia as a cause of death.

Garner, of Hull, denies murder and causing or allowing a child's death.

Gregson, of Chesterfield, denies causing or allowing a child's death.

The trial, expected to last six to eight weeks, continues.