A man accused of murdering a 12-month-old girl said he “took the blame” for the child’s mother who he said kicked her “flying” the day before she died in hospital, a court heard.
Jamie Chadwick, 22, told a jury at Manchester Crown Court that Chelsea Crilly, 20, side-footed Orianna Crilly-Cifrova “pretty hard” across the living room floor after the youngster had been crying.
He told a court he saw Crilly ‘side-foot her underneath her bum pretty hard’.
Chadwick alleges that when he asked her what she was doing she said ‘I have hurt my baby’.
Later the same day, on October 16 last year, Orianna was rushed to hospital after Crilly and the defendant’s sister returned to their flat in Radcliffe, Greater Manchester, to find her strapped in her pram but “floppy” and “completely white”.
Giving evidence on Wednesday, Chadwick said Crilly told him to say he was on the toilet when Orianna crawled towards him and fell down some steps leading into the bathroom.
Chadwick, who is not Orianna’s father, went on to repeat that account in police interview after he was arrested but told the jury that was not the truth.
He said: “I loved Chelsea and I didn’t want her to get into trouble, I took the blame for her.
“I should have just told the truth.
“While I have been sat in the dock Chelsea has been blaming me for everything.
“I should have told the truth at the start.”
The Crown says Chadwick inflicted a “particularly violent attack” on the toddler who suffered multiple skull fractures consistent with being picked up and swung against a very hard surface, stamped on or hit very hard with a blunt object.
Crilly is accused of allowing her daughter’s death after leaving her alone with Chadwick who she allegedly knew was being investigated at the time by police and social services over unexplained injuries to another child.
Chadwick denied causing any injuries to the six-month-old boy while living with the boy and his mother, and no charges were brought.
He told jurors that Crilly knew about the probe when they became a couple but she did not want them to split up or for Orianna to be taken off her.
He said, when social services came to their address, it was Crilly who suggested he hide under a bed.
Chadwick told his barrister, Andrew O’Byrne QC, he smoked cannabis and took cocaine with Crilly on the night of October 15.
They also shared alcohol, he said, but he only had one glass and “she had the rest”.
He said he woke the next morning to see Orianna and her mother in the living room with the youngster red in the face “like she had been crying for ages” and Crilly saying “shut up Orianna, shut up”.
Crilly then picked up her child off the couch and slammed her down on the floor and Orianna “properly burst out crying”, he said.
When he returned from a shower he saw Orianna still crying with Crilly standing near to her, he continued.
Chadwick said: “I saw Chelsea side-foot her underneath her bum and she has gone flying.
“Side-footed her pretty hard … I didn’t see where she hit something.
“I said ‘Chelsea what are you playing at?’.
“She said I have hurt my baby.”
He said Orianna was in her mother’s arms when he then noticed a “weird cry”.
The jury previously heard that post-mortem examinations showed Orianna had also sustained serious non-accidental injuries to her spine and ribs on at least two separate occasions in the days leading up to her death.
Chadwick denies murder.
Crilly denies allowing the death of a child.