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Wednesday, December 2, 1998 Published at 19:01 GMT


Blow crushed girl's liver, court told

The court heard Lauren was found on the floor

A seaman killed his girlfriend's daughter with a blow that crushed her liver against her spine, a court has been told.

The BBC's Stephen Cape reports on the trial's opening day
Lauren Creed, five, had 167 bruises on her body when she was examined by a pathologist after her death in October 1997, Norwich Crown Court was told.

Graham Sate, 25, who lived with Lauren and her mother Sharon Creed, 25, at RAF Coltishall, in Norfolk, denies charges of murder and cruelty.

David Stokes, QC, prosecuting, told the court Lauren had died on 21 October, 1997, after being found on the floor of her home by paramedics.

He said that Mr Sate, who was home on leave, had been on his own in the house with Lauren from about 0800 while her mother was at work.

Mr Stokes said neighbours heard sounds as if furniture was being moved and nails knocked into a wall.

It was not until 1102 that Ms Creed, having returned home from work, called 999 to ask for an ambulance.

A post-mortem examination found extensive injuries on the girl's body, said Mr Stokes. There were abrasions to her face, swellings on her head and bruising on her body. She had also suffered a broken rib.

The pathologist discovered that her liver had been split and that there had been haemorrhaging in her intestine.

Lauren 'fell down stairs'

Mr Sate told paramedics and police that Lauren had accidentally tumbled down stairs and then lost consciousness about an hour later after appearing to recover, the jury heard.

But Mr Stokes said her injuries were in no way consistent with her having fallen down the stairs. They were consistent with her being punched or kicked and repeatedly prodded, he said. Mr Sate's explanation was "nonsense".

Mr Stokes said Ms Creed had subsequently admitted two offences of cruelty.

She admitted the charge in failing to call an ambulance for 90 minutes on the day of Lauren's death, and also admitted the cruel treatment of Lauren between March and October 1997.

Ms Creed was a senior aircraftswoman in the RAF and had been posted to RAF Coltishall in the middle of 1996.

Mr Stokes also said that neighbours Sofiah and Gregg Baker had noticed Lauren "was absolutely covered in bruises".

He said: "Mrs Baker was so concerned about what she saw that she tape-recorded a conversation between her and Lauren.

"She (Lauren) said: 'Daddy punched me in the belly today. Slapped me. Punched me'."

The case continues on Thursday.

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