Cruel’ boyfriend murdered girlfriend’s baby because she looked like her dad
A ‘cruel’ killer who murdered his girlfriend’s newborn daughter because she looked like her biological dad has been jailed for life.
Davey Everson, 23, claimed little Millie-Rose Burdett had choked when she was rushed to hospital in December 2018.
But he had been physically abusing the defenceless baby and the tot’s mum Kirsty Burdett, 25, helped him cover his tracks.
Doctors found Millie-Rose had suffered horrific injuries including head trauma, 12 fractures to multiple ribs, leg fractures and compression fractures to her spine.
She also suffered a fatal bleed to the brain, from being violently shaken and thrown into her cot at her mum’s house in Hertfordshire.
The Old Bailey heard Burdett witnessed Everson shove a bottle into Millie-Rose’s mouth so forcefully it began to bleed.
But she allowed him to keep feeding her daughter and continued her relationship with him.
She was jailed for six years after the court heard how she claimed bruises on Millie-Rose’s face were from a fall when in fact her boyfriend was responsible.
Little Millie-Rose tragically was three-months-old when she died at Watford General Hospital on January 11 2019.
The court heard Everson had become frustrated while feeding the baby girl, swearing at her when she struggled with a large bottle she could not fit in her mouth.
And despite initially volunteering to care for her, he lost interest when she began looking more like her biological dad.
Passing sentence at the Old Bailey Mrs Justice Cheema-Grubb said the killer had become ‘riled’ at Millie-Rose’s appearance and it was clear he had ‘deliberately’ killed the tot and not simply lost control in the heat of an impatient moment.
Jurors at St Albans Crown Court convicted him of murder and a separate charge of cruelty to a person aged under 16 involving another young child who cannot be named.
He was also convicted of a charge of cruelty to a person aged under 16 involving another young child who cannot be named for legal reasons.
Everson, from Fulham, London, was jailed for life with a minimum 18 years.
Burdett was convicted of causing or allowing the death of her daughter and the neglect of a person under 16.
She wiped away tears with a tissue as the court heard devastating facts of the case while Everson sobbed alongside her in the dock.
The court heard in mitigation that he was ‘immature’ and ‘ill-equipped’ to care for a child and has an IQ of just 65, placing him in the intellectual bracket of ‘mild learning disability.
Jane Bickerstaff, defending Everson, said: ‘His age, immaturity and low intellect must have impacted on his ability to cope in this situation with a new baby and he is a completely inexperienced parent and we submit ill-equipped to cope.’
Sean Larkin, defending Burdett, said she had suffered depression since the age of 16 and told the court Millie-Rose’s death had had a ‘devastating impact’ on her.
‘Although people say she brought that on herself the evidence was that she was a good mother. Millie-Rose’s father described her as a wonderful mother and the people who knew her best saw those qualities in her.
‘She did take a course on domestic violence and it’s set out in her letter she can now reflect on earlier relationships including with Mr Everson and see them in a different light,’ Mr Larkin said.
Passing sentence Mrs Justice Cheema Grubb said: ‘Millie-Rose Burdett was just two months old when she was taken to hospital having collapsed in your care.
‘You Kirsty were pregnant by a previous partner. You were both hotheaded and as your text conversations show you would argue fiercely and then make up.
‘You knew this young man was immature…But in reality you didn’t care enough to remove her from the risk he obviously posed of causing her serious harm.
‘On 14 December the two of you argued again. Kirsty later told the police she was planning to end the relationship but needed Davey’s money to buy food.
‘You argued loudly and your neighbour heard shouting and screaming but then you went out shopping together.
‘Despite the ferocity of the argument and all you knew of you left him alone to feed her.
‘He didn’t want to feed. He was lying in bed ready to watch a film… Millie-Rose was fatally injured. He brought her into you and she was floppy in his arms.’
‘You Everson claimed variously that Millie-Rose had choked or lost consciousness while you were feeding her.
‘The truth is there was no reason for her to have lost consciousness without assault. You had shaken the baby violently leading to severe brain damage.
‘You had caused four fractures to her spine which would have required severe force.
‘You even denied you had shaken her when asked directly in interview.
‘I sentence you on the basis that you were angry and the baby was crying or not doing what you wanted to do.
‘The evidence is of a more deliberate and more extensive assault.
‘I am sure you inflicted these four different assaults… You have expressed no remorse.’
Senior investigating officer, detective inspector Iain Macpherson, from the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Major Crime Unit, said: ‘This is a tragic and heart-breaking case that has resulted in the death of an innocent baby.
‘Everson is a dangerous and cruel man who has showed no remorse for what he has done.
‘He made no comment throughout police interviews and has never explained how defenceless Millie-Rose suffered her fatal injuries.
‘Burdett put her own interests before her child and failed in her fundamental duty to keep her safe from harm.’