Trial of man accused of murdering baby of a Derbyshire woman continues

A trial involving a man who allegedly smothered to death the baby daughter of a Derbyshire woman is continuing at Sheffield Crown Court.

Wednesday, 16th October 2019, 9:40 am
Updated Wednesday, 16th October 2019, 10:40 am
Pictured is Samantha Gregson, 26, of Melling Close, Chesterfield. who has pleaded not guilty to causing or allowing the death of a child. Picture coutesy of SWNS.

The court has heard how Jonathan Garner, 26, of Thirlmere Avenue, Hull, has denied the murder of 23-month-old Mia Gregson on February 13, 2014, and he has denied causing or allowing the death of the child.

His partner at the time, Samantha Gregson, 26, of Melling Close, Chesterfield, faces only one charge of causing or allowing the death of her daughter at the couple’s former home.

Prosecuting barrister Robert Smith QC said the couple had been living on Dorset Street, Hull, in January, 2014, where neighbours had heard Mr Garner shouting at Mia while she was crying.

Pictured is Sheffield Crown Court.

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Mr Smith QC added that the child was found collapsed and unconscious at the property about 4.40pm and later died.

He claimed Mia Gregson died as a result of a deliberate act of smothering and had suffered a cardiac arrest and was taken to Hull Royal Infirmary where she was later certified dead just after 8pm.

Mr Smith QC also claimed the alleged smothering had happened when Samantha Gregson was present and he argued she would have been aware of the potential risk and had allegedly done nothing.

A post-mortem examination did not exclude asphyxiation or smothering as a possible cause of death but stated Mia’s death was due to brain damage caused by a reduction of oxygen and blood to the brain and was also due to “unexpected sudden death in childhood”.

But Mr Smith QC has argued this was not an appropriate conclusion after citing evidence of bruises and injuries on Mia’s body and he argued an unexpected collapse in a 23-month-old child is very unusual.

Jonathan Garner and Samantha Gregson claimed they had been asleep and had woken to find Mia had collapsed, according to Mr Smith QC.

Mr Garner, who is not the father of Mia, has pleaded not guilty to murder and not guilty to causing or allowing the death of a child.

Ms Gregson has pleaded not guilty to causing or allowing the death of a child.

The trial, which started on October 2, is not listed for a hearing today, Wednesday, October 16, but it is expected to continue from tomorrow and is expected to run for about another four weeks.