Blackpool baby murder charge dad ‘gentle’ with son

Preston Crown Court
Preston Crown Court

A Blackpool man on trial for the murder of his baby son sobbed at Preston Crown Court yesterday as one witness described his devotion to the six-week-old.

READ MORE: MURDER TRIAL: Blackpool man claims he shook baby son to wake him

David Christie, 35, of Wyre Grove, denies murdering Marshall Christie, who died from serious head injuries on March 15, 2017.

The infant was found to have several other injuries on his body, including two fractured ribs.

Social workers, a police officer, a paediatric nurse and a member of Blackpool Council’s families in need team all testified in court yesterday that Christie appeared to be properly caring for his son.

Health visitor Holly Edwards, who examined Marshall thoroughly on March 1, said he did not have any visible injuries on his body and showed ‘no evidence of any pain, not even a nappy rash’.

She said that the infant turned in the direction of his father’s voice, which made Christie ‘delighted’.

Christie was the sole guardian for Marshall while his partner, Sarah Lowe, was treated for schizophrenia at Wythenshaw Hospital, Ormskirk Hospital, and The Harbour mental health hospital in Blackpool.

Ruth Hartman, a senior occupational therapist at Ormskirk Hospital, described the relationship between Christie and Marshall as ‘touching’, causing the dad to break down in tears.

Other witnesses described Christie as ‘bursting with pride’ at the birth of his son, while Lowe was ‘not concerned about the baby’.

In a police interview, Christie had admitted to shaking his son in, he said, an attempt to wake him after finding him lifeless in his bed.

Linda Turner, assistant social worker for Blackpool Council, said that Christie ‘could have been gentler’ when interacting with Marshall.

CCTV footage taken from The Harbour family room on March 9, the day before Marshall’s collapse, showed Christie paying a visit to Lowe.

The 12 minute video showed Christie cradling and kissing Marshall and changing his nappy as he waited for his partner.

Lowe entered the room but quickly stormed out. She returned several minutes later with Harbour support worker Bridget Green.

Christie could then be seen handing Marshall over to Lowe using only one hand, causing Ms Green to gasp.

She said: “When he passed the baby with one hand I was very shocked because that’s not normally how people pass a baby.

“He said ‘it’s OK, I know what I’m doing’.”