Father who killed daughter after throwing her across room “because she was crying” jailed

A father who threw his daughter several yards across a room because she was crying was sentenced to three years and six months for manslaughter.

Dean Smith, 46, of Watford, threw four-week-old Maisie Newell into a wooden camp bed in August 2000, causing severe head injuries that would leave her with a permanent disability.

Maisie was later adopted and tragically died after contracting a lung and flu infection in 2014, which sparked a murder investigation.

Jurors had heard that on the night of the incident, Smith was left alone in an apartment in Edgware with baby Maisie, after his partner had left for a few hours.

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He had told his partner in advance not to “leave me with a crying baby for hours” and was annoyed at having to take care of the newborn.

Soon after, he lost his temper and threw Maisie through the north London apartment to his wooden cradle, causing “catastrophic” injuries.

Maisie Smith suffered ‘catastrophic’ head injuries at the age of four weeks

The court also heard that following the incident, Smith lit a cigarette and played Playstation until his partner returned.

Maisie’s mother, who cannot be named for legal reasons, noticed the baby’s injuries later that evening and told jurors Smith had started to “cry” and “panic”.

She was rushed to hospital with horrific injuries to her skull and spine, leaving her with severe disabilities that would affect her throughout her life.

The couple initially concocted a story about their 18-month-old son’s responsibility, but that was quickly ruled out by medical professionals and Smith admitted what had happened.

He was sentenced to three years in prison for grievous bodily harm in 2001, and Maisie was placed with his adoptive parents when he was 20 months old.

Tracy and Ian Newell, who have cared for Maisie throughout her life, told the court that Maisie’s injuries were “catastrophic, irreversible and life-shattering”, and she required constant care.

She had never developed head control, had difficulty swallowing, was blind, suffered from cerebral palsy, and was unable to communicate verbally among several other conditions affecting her life.

After contracting a lung infection, she was rushed to hospital on May 31, 2014 and died shortly before her 14th birthday with her adoptive parents by her side.

After his death, a murder investigation was opened and he was arrested in 2016, but later released on bail.

New charges were laid before him in February 2019 and in September Smith was cleared by an Old Bailey jury of murder, but admitted and was found guilty of manslaughter.

He had told jurors that he considered himself a “crazy shit” and that he was “broke” when he heard of Maisie’s death.

The jury also heard that he suffered from an antisocial personality disorder associated with increased hostility towards others.

In a moving statement on the impact of the victim, Tracy and Ian Newell told the court: “As a family, we made a conscious decision when Maisie joined our family not to be consumed by the anger in her. arrived, the lack of protection she had when she was most innocent and vulnerable.

“We vowed not to develop any bitterness that she lacked at all, not to wonder what her life could have been like or to think about how much she was going to endure.

“We chose to focus on all that she could do, determined to give her the best, to optimize her life experiences and we swore that no one would hurt her anymore.”

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They continued, “Caring for Maisie was extremely stressful. Making sure that she was always as healthy and comfortable as possible and that all of her needs were met, night and day took their toll, but we would have loved the opportunity to do and keep her with us longer.

“We always did our best to him. We have always stood up for her and been her voice because she did not have one and we are delighted that her story has finally been heard in court.

“Despite all the challenges she faced on a daily basis, she was always the most beautiful person and everyone always commented, and always did, her amazing smile.

“Maisie always had the ability to draw people to her, she was like the sun, radiant and luminous. While her body was so damaged, her soul remained intact.

“We all thought about her world and we loved her. She was and always will be loved by all of us, our family will never be the same without her.

Smith was visibly emotional in the dock and had already collapsed after the jury cleared him of the murder in September.

Judge Mark Lucraft QC described him as a “difficult case” for the jury and sentenced him to three years and six months in prison.

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Dora W. Clawson