Girl, 2, murdered after suffering horror injuries by killer she called daddy

A man has admitted in court to murdering his partner’s two-year-old daughter, who called him "daddy".

Adam Jackson, 27, was sentenced to life in prison at Teesside Crown Court on Monday morning and will serve a minimum of 15 years and 166 days to reflect the fact that he has been in custody for 383 days, TeessideLive reports.

He had been charged with the murder of Grace Thorpe on November 13 last year after the toddler was rushed to hospital in critical condition on November 10, before tragically passing away two days later.

Grace’s mother, Alice, had separated from her daughter’s father shortly after she was born in June 2018.

She began a relationship with Jackson in November 2019 and he moved in with the pair in New Marske, North Yorkshire, during the start of the pandemic.

On the morning of November 10, Alice left for work, with phone records showing she and Jackson had argued because he wanted to use the car which was low on fuel.

Around 90 minutes later, Jackson called her and said that the two-year-old had "popped her lip and bruised her face" after falling out of her highchair.

He said he was "f****** sick of this. If it’s not that b****** dog it’s something else".

Over 30 minutes after that phone call, Jackson called an ambulance for Grace, telling the operator that she had fallen from her highchair, which had a faulty strap and said she was making a snoring-type noise.

The emergency services arrived quickly and found Grace lying on the sofa – limp, floppy, extremely cold and wearing only a nappy.

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They proceeded to remove blood from her mouth.

When asked why he hadn’t called for an ambulance immediately, Jackson said that Grace had fallen from her highchair while he was upstairs in the loo, 20 minutes before.

The paramedics saw that Grace’s left leg was broken and there were old and new bruises on her body and proceeded to call the police.

Grace was driven under police escort to James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough and was then flown by air ambulance to the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle.

Doctors said her brain and abdominal injuries were so severe, it was unlikely she would survive, before eventually passing away two days later on November 12.

Jackson was arrested by police who had to use spray to subdue him as he reacted "violently" and was charged with the murder on November 13, despite maintaining for months that Grace had fallen from her highchair.

Dr Bolton, a Home Office pathologist, found that Grace had suffered several head injuries caused by severe blunt force trauma to her head, which had caused a fatal brain injury.

The pathologist’s report concluded that Grace had been punched or kicked or forced against an unyielding surface.

He also reported that there were four further "blunt force" injuries to her head.

Grace was also found to have coughed or breathed out blood whilst sitting in her highchair with the tray in place.

The pathologist’s report said: "Each injury would have caused her immediate pain. Her head injury would have rendered her unwell or caused loss of consciousness."

Although Jackson admitted to the toddler’s murder, he did not accept causing any injuries to Grace prior to that date.

When handing out the life sentence, Judge Crowson, said: "Grace was a happy, healthy child. She was two years and five months when you killed her.

"She was in your care in her own home. Although you were not Grace’s father, her mother trusted you.

"The injuries inflicted on Grace on November 10 last year, caused immediate and obvious pain. She called you, 'daddy'. Grace’s death has had a very significant impact on her family."

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