A three month old baby girl died at the hands of her mother’s boyfriend, most likely by being shaken and "thrown against a surface such as into her cot", a court heard today.

Davey Everson, 23, appeared at St Albans Crown Court facing charges over the death of Millie Rose Burdett, but he denied her murder.

Millie Rose died in January 2019 after being admitted to hospital a month earlier with injuries she never recovered from, the court heard today.

Mr Everson's partner, Kirsty Burdett - Millie's mother - also appeared in court today.

The 25-year-old of Nightingale Road, Rickmansworth, pleaded not guilty to causing or allowing the death of her daughter.

Watford Observer:

Kirsty Burdett outside St Albans Crown Court. Credit: South Beds News Agency

Opening the prosecution’s case, David Spens QC told the jury: "This case concerns the death of Millie Rose Burdett, a young baby.

"She was born on October 10 2018 and died on 11 January 2019 aged just three months."

He told the court the baby had been admitted to hospital on 15 December 2018 with multiple fractures and a severe brain injury.

He said: "The person alone with her at the time the fatal injuries were inflicted was Davey Everson, the partner of her mother, Kirsty Burdett."

Mr Spens went on: "He has never provided an account that explains how her injuries were caused. That is because the prosecution say the truth is he violently assaulted her in anger, most likely by shaking or throwing her against a surface such as into a cot."

He added: "The prosecution case against Miss Burdett is that she failed to take reasonable steps to protect Millie from Mr Everson despite the clear signs that he posed a serious risk to her; that is the case in a nutshell."

Watford Observer:

Davey Everson. Credit: South Beds News Agency

The court was told Kirsty Burdett was pregnant with Millie when she split up from the child’s father.

She then formed a relationship with Mr Everson, who was then 21 and lived in Haselbury Road, Edmonton, north London.

The court heard he would visit Miss Burdett regularly at her home in Rickmansworth and stay with her at weekends.

Although not the biological father of Millie Rose, Mr Everson had expressed the wish "to take her on and be a father to her" after she was born, a jury was told.

However, within weeks of Millie Rose’s birth, questions had been raised about his suitability for the role and social services had become involved, it was claimed.

The jury was told Mr Everson was "aggressive and verbally unpleasant" towards Miss Burdett and was "rough and violent" towards her new baby daughter.

The court was told around a month after her birth, Millie Rose had bruises on her cheeks that Mr Everson was to later accept responsibility for.

On November 17 2018, police attended Miss Burdett’s home after she and the defendant had been heard arguing.

Watford Observer:

In a police report, it had been recorded: "There has been a verbal argument between the couple due to the stress of their one month old baby. No offence has been disclosed."

That same month, said the prosecutor, in a phone call to a social worker, Mr Everson said a bruise to Millie Rose’s face had been caused accidentally as he was "burping" her.

During the call, the court was told, the social worker could hear Ms Burdett in the background who was plainly able to listen into what was being said.

Mr Spens said: "Pausing there, is winding a possible explanation for bruises to a baby's face? If not, Davey Everson has injured Millie and lied to Social Services, with Kirsty Burdett’s acquiescence."

Mr Spens said on November 20 2018, Millie Rose was taken to Watford General Hospital after she had been "screaming in pain".

He said it was subsequently diagnosed she was suffering from "colic",  a term used when a baby cries a lot but there's no obvious cause.

But, following her death, the post-mortem examination was to reveal fractures to the baby's ribs that had been sustained at some point around November 18. 

The jury heard a member of Miss Burdett’s family had seen Mr Everson’s frustration when trying to feed the baby from a bottle which appeared to be too big for her.

At one point the witness said he had "shoved the bottle hard into her mouth saying f...... drink it - take it you f...... bitch".

Mr Spens said although Miss Burdett had not witnessed that particular incident, she was later to admit in interview that there was an occasion that Mr Everson had shoved a bottle into the baby’s mouth so hard that it made her mouth bleed.

Watford Observer:

The case is being heard at St Albans Crown Court. Credit: South Beds News Agency

On another occasion, to explain bruising to Millie Rose’s face, Miss Burdett is said to have told her mother that she had fallen from a car seat which had not properly fitted her buggy.

After the baby’s death she was interviewed and said it was a lie and that her boyfriend had caused the bruising.

The jury was then told how, on December 11 2018, a health visitor who went to Miss Burdett’s home noted there were indications the baby was failing to thrive.

The health visitor gave the mum advice as to "upping her calorie intake" and also noticed there was a bruise on each of the baby’s cheeks the size of finger marks.

He said, asked by the health visitor how the baby had obtained them, the mother said Mr Everson was "heavy handed" with her.

Mr Spens said: "By December it must have been clear to Kirsty Burdett that Davey Everson had serious problems with controlling his anger

"However, rather than reporting his behaviour and ending the relationship, Kirsty Burdett had defended him, covered up for him."

The court was told that, following a 999 call made from the mother’s phone on December 15 during which the operator was told Millie Rose wasn’t breathing properly, she was taken by ambulance from her home to Watford General Hospital.

At the house, Mr Everson is said to have claimed to a paramedic that he had been feeding her a bottle of milk in a bedroom when she choked and stopped breathing.

At the hospital a CT scan showed the baby was suffering from a bleed on her brain which, said the prosecutor, suggested a "strong possibility of a non-accidental injury having taken place".

She had bruises on her left forearm and left forehead.

Watford Observer:

Later that day Mr Everson was arrested at the hospital on suspicion of attempted murder.

Millie Rose was transferred from Watford General Hospital to Kings College Hospital in London.

In a police interview, Mr Everson gave a prepared statement which read: "At no time did I cause any harm to Millie Rose. I do not wish to make any further comment."

In Miss Burdett’s first interview with police officers, Mr Spens said she told them her boyfriend could be "heavy handed" with the baby and went on: "All I can think he’s put the milk in too far down; she’s drunk too much - that’s why she has choked. But that doesn’t explain the bleed on the brain..."

It was also discovered the baby had suffered multiple fractures of different ages to both sides of her chest and to the front and back ribs.

In addition, she had a fracture to her right femur and a fracture to her left tibia which, said Mr Spens, was "consistent with the to and fro from movement of the legs during violent shaking".

He said although the fractures the baby had suffered were non-life threatening, the brain injury was severe and, unable to breathe on her own, she was put on a ventilator.

She continued to remain in a coma and the opinions of the neurology and neuroradiology teams were that her head injuries were so severe that there was little hope of independent survival.

On 11 January 2019, Mr Spens said it was determined that ongoing intensive care support was futile and would be withdrawn, and Millie Rose died that day.

The jury was told Millie Rose died as a result of traumatic head injuries.

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In addition to the murder charge he faces, Mr Everson also pleads not guilty to a charge of cruelty to a person under 16 involving another young child who cannot be named .

Miss Burdett also pleads not guilty to the same charge involving the same child.

The trial continues.