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Last Updated: Thursday, 12 July 2007, 18:29 GMT 19:29 UK
Girl, 4, killed by 'brutal' abuse
Leticia Wright
Leticia died from complications caused by multiple injuries
A four-year-old girl died after suffering "sustained and brutal" abuse which left her with injuries equivalent to a major road crash, a court heard.

Leticia Aalayah Wright, of Almondbury Bank, Huddersfield, West Yorks, died in November from multiple injuries.

Her mother, Sharon Wright, 23, and Peter McKenzie-Seaton, 22, deny murder.

Bradford Crown Court heard that social workers had visited the family after hearing concerns from neighbours, but no action was taken.

Ambulance staff found Leticia lying on the living room floor of her home. She was covered in bruises, both old and new, the court heard.

Nicholas Campbell QC, prosecuting, said: "The cause of death was multiple injuries and they were mainly forceful blows to Leticia's head and to her abdomen.

"These injuries had been inflicted between two and three days before she died. She had suffered other injuries over a longer period than that.

"It's not possible to say which of the two assaulted her, bringing about her death, but it's proper inference that they were in it together."

'Looked sad'

The court heard the two defendants, who each had a child from previous relationships, moved in together three months before Leticia's death.

Neighbours said they received few visitors, the windows were rarely opened and the curtains were invariably drawn.

Mr Campbell said: "There was little evidence of a family life being lived beyond the closed door.

"One feature of that life was noticed by a number of neighbours - the amount of time Leticia spent in her bedroom.

"She could be seen on most week days standing in front of the closed curtain of her window, looking out into the street below.

"Sometimes she looked sad but she often responded to the waves of those who were passing below and she smiled."

Two neighbours contacted social services, who discovered the girl was not registered with a local surgery or nursery.

On 13 October two social workers visited the house, the court heard.

'No marks'

Leticia was found lying in her dressing gown on a bed, without any cover or bedding.

Wright told the social workers she had wet the bed and the bedding was being washed.

Mr Campbell said: "As far as they could observe there were no marks on her. She was responding affectionately to her mother.

"She appeared to be of the appropriate size and weight for her age."

Leticia was registered at the nursery the following Monday.

After checking with the school that she had been registered, the file on Leticia was closed.

Leticia attended nursery for the next week but failed to turn up in the following weeks, the court heard.

Wright and McKenzie-Seaton also deny an alternative charge of causing or allowing the death of a child.

The trial continues.


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