A man has been found guilty of murdering his girlfriend’s baby when he was left alone with her.
Just before 13:00 hours on the 15th December 2018, paramedics were called to the mother’s home in Rickmansworth and Baby Millie-Rose Burdett was rushed to hospital by paramedics.
Davey Everson, 23, from Edmonton, North London, claimed that the baby girl had choked while he was alone feeding her.
However, doctors discovered that Millie-Rose, known as Millie, had suffered a number of serious injuries over a protracted period of time.
Medical experts believe that Millie had been shaken ‘violently and forcefully’ on more than one occasion and had injuries that included a bleed to the brain due to head trauma, fractures to multiple ribs, leg fractures and compression fractures to her spine.
St Albans Crown Court heard that Everson caused the final, fatal injury to Millie by shaking her and throwing her against a surface such as into her cot.
Forensic examinations carried out after her death showed that Millie Rose had suffered a catalogue of significant injuries, including 23 broken bones, over the course of her short life.
Tragically on 11th January 2019, Millie died in hospital aged just three months, after intensive care support was withdrawn.
Yesterday, Thursday 4th February, the jury unanimously convicted Everson of murder following a trial lasting just over three weeks.
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.
The baby’s mother, 25-year-old Kirsty Burdett stood trial alongside Everson for causing/allowing the death of her baby daughter and the neglect of a person aged under 16, which relates to another young child who cannot be named for legal reasons.
Witnesses, including a social worker, health visitor and family members, described Everson being “heavy-handed” and “rough” when feeding Millie Rose, including causing bruising to her face when he winded her.
He was referred for parenting classes by the social worker.
Burdett, who began a relationship with Everson when she was pregnant with Millie Rose, chose to cover up her partner’s actions, lying on his behalf to the authorities.
However, her text messages to Everson revealed she recognised his trait of violence.
She was convicted of both charges.
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.
“She protected Everson, telling others that bruising to her baby’s face had been caused by her falling from a car seat when in fact Everson was responsible. On another occasion Burdett witnessed Everson force a bottle into Mille-Rose’s mouth causing it to bleed but despite this Burdett still left her daughter alone with Everson and continued her relationship with him.
“Our focus was to achieve justice for Millie-Rose, and this investigation has given her a voice.”
Senior Crown Prosecutor Rebecca Waller for the Crown Prosecution Service said:
“This is a tragic case of a defenceless infant who suffered horrendous treatment at the hands of a violent man and was failed by her mother, who had a duty to protect her from harm.
“Both defendants repeatedly lied about Millie Rose’s frequent injuries. However, evidence from medical experts has enabled us to get to the truth of what happened to her during her short life, and secure Everson’s conviction for her untimely death.
“The jury have also concluded that Millie Rose’s mother did not take the steps she could and should have taken to keep her child safe, ultimately causing or allowing her death.”
Everson and Burdett are both due to be sentenced at The Old Bailey in London on Friday 12 February.
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