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Thursday, December 3, 1998 Published at 16:40 GMT


UK

'Daddy punched me in the belly'

The tape was played to the court

The taped voice of a five-year-old girl, recorded three months before she was allegedly murdered by her mother's boyfriend, has been played to a jury.

In the recording, Lauren Creed says the man she called "daddy" had punched her in the belly and slapped her.

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

At an earlier hearing, Sharon Creed admitted two charges of cruelty towards Lauren.

The tape was made by a worried neighbour who handed it to police, Norwich Crown Court was told.

Sofiah Baker, whose husband Gregg is an RAF policeman, said she heard Sate and Creed arguing next door last July.

'She was frightened'

Creed had come around to her house and then later brought Lauren who had then stayed the night with the Bakers.

"Lauren was not herself, she was very very frightened," Mrs Baker told the jury. "I don't think she clearly understood what was going on. She was covered in bruises. Head to toe."

Mrs Baker said one side of Lauren's face was covered in bruises. There were also bruises on her arms and a "very very big bruise" on one side of her leg.

She also had bruisings on her stomach and her bottom. "The bruise on her leg was very very big. It was probably like a closed fist," said Mrs Baker.

"The other bruises were little poke-sized bruises all over her body. They were scattered."

She removed Lauren's clothing and decided to ask her why she was bruised and record their conversation on a hand held recording machine.

'Slapped me'

The tape was then played in court. The jury heard Mrs Baker say to Lauren: "Tell me what daddy done to you today."

Lauren was then heard to reply: "Daddy punched me in the belly today. Slapped me. Punched me."

Earlier, Home Office pathologist Dr David Harrison said Lauren Creed died because her liver was virtually split in two by the force of a blow to her stomach.

As the jury looked at the photographs, Dr Harrison gave an account of the injuries he found on Lauren's body.

He told the jury he found a total of 167 cuts and abrasions on the youngster, which, he described as "non accidental" injuries.

The trial continues.



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