A father who is accused of murdering his 2-month-old daughter said he shook and bit the infant for cultural reasons.
The 35-year-old man from Sydney, who cannot be identified for legal reason, was refused bail at the New South Wales Supreme Court on Tuesday, March 27, after Justice Natalie Adams said that at the very least, the prosecution’s case for manslaughter was strong, reported AAP.
The father was charged with murdering his daughter, who died of catastrophic brain injury on Nov. 13, 2015.
He pleaded not guilty to murder and domestic violence-related charges. The 35-year-old allegedly told police he had bitten and shaken the child “for cultural reasons.” He was on a bridging visa at the time of the incident.
The court heard the father kissed, bit and shook the baby in a “misguided” attempt to help the baby girl, according to the man’s lawyer.
The father told the judge that he loved his daughter too much after the judge asked him about a friend who had noticed bruising on the girl’s cheek days before her death.
His response was not accepted by the prosecutor who said it was “nonsense” that kissing a child on the cheek could cause a bruise, reported the newswire.
On the day of the infant’s death, the mother said the baby was giggling and responsive but then she started crying. The father went to hold the baby girl while the mother went into the kitchen to prepare a bottle.
During that time she heard a loud scream and when she returned to the child, her husband allegedly looked shocked.
The 2-month-old child was taken to the hospital where she later died. The court heard that the infant had bruises on her body and marks that were consistent with bite marks. The cause of her death was a catastrophic head injury.
The child was also suffering from rib injuries that were apparently sustained when her father dropped her while putting her in the bath.
“The mother said she had not seen the baby completely naked for some time as (the father) would not allow her to bath the victim,” the judge said, according to AAP.
The father is currently in protection after being stabbed in jail as a result of being named in a media report. He is due to appear in court again on April 6.