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Dad who shook three-week-old baby girl to death jailed

Thomas Haining left his daughter Mikayla with catastrophic injuries following the attack.

Haining: Shook daughter to death.
Haining: Shook daughter to death.

A father who killed his three-week-old daughter by shaking her has been jailed.

Thomas Haining left baby Mikayla with catastrophic injuries following the attack at the family home on Mackay Road, Inverness.

The 21-year-old was jailed after he admitted killing the baby on June 8, 2017, at the High Court in Edinburgh on Wednesday.

Haining, who was 19 at the time of the attack, was originally charged with murdering his child, but the Crown accepted his guilty plea to the lesser offence of culpable homicide.

He was remanded in custody ahead of sentencing next month.

The court heard the child's head struck a door during the incident causing her to sustain a fractured skull and bleeding to the brain.

Mikayla, who was born a healthy child on May 17, 2017, also suffered fractured ribs and brain damage as a result of the attack.

Advocate depute Michael Meehan said the child's mother had moved in with Haining the previous year when she was pregnant with Mikayla.

Mr Meehan said that in the two days before the baby met her death she was unsettled and crying more than usual.

Mikayla was put in a Moses basket in the living room at the family home and her mother went to bed, with Haining staying with the child to try to settle her.

In the early hours of the morning the mother went downstairs and looked at her daughter who appeared to be sleeping before going back to bed.

Haining later sent her a text saying: "Babe sorry to bother you where is Mikayla's thermometer."

He then woke her up and asked for the thermometer as he said the baby seemed cold.

They both checked the child's temperature and Haining told her the child had woken up and taken a little milk.

The mother went back upstairs, but Haining woke her again and asked her to take the baby's temperature again.

Later after 5am the mother was woken again by Haining shouting that Mikayla had stopped breathing.

He told her to use his phone to make a 999 call.

Paramedics attended and the baby was taken to Raigmore Hospital, in Inverness where a CT scan was carried out which revealed she widespread bleeding to the brain.

Mr Meehan said: "The consultant radiologist who viewed the scan expressed the opinion that the severe brain damage was caused by trauma."

A post-mortem was carried out after her death and the was certified as head trauma.

An examination of Haining's phone showed he made three Google searches between 4.22 and 4.45 am. The first was for 'baby took a panic attack and now she's unresponsive'. The second for 'what happens when a newborn is shaken hard'. The third was for 'newborn in a coma'.

Mr Meehan said that the skull fracture sustained by the child was caused by "significant blunt force impact".

He added: "The rib injuries are consistent with significant pressure being applied to the baby's torso during shaking."

The judge, Lord Pentland, remanded Haining in custody and called for a background report to be prepared on the first offender ahead of sentencing.

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