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Father jailed for life for murdering six-month-old girl on Christmas Day

Lee Parker never explained why he inflicted ‘catastrophic’ injuries on his baby daughter Aya.

A man who murdered his six-month-old daughter on Christmas Day has been jailed for life.

Lee Parker, 33, repeatedly struck Aya’s head against a door and wall in a temper after drinking heavily and taking drugs.

He was told he would serve at least 15 years and two months after previously admitting murder.

Mr Justice Phillips said Parker carried out a “sustained and murderous attack”.

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Lee Parker murdered baby Ava after drinking heavily and taking drugs (Avon and Somerset Police/PA)

“On Christmas Eve at about 9pm a tragic and dark change occurred in your behaviour, no doubt because you were drinking heavily and had used cocaine and cannabis,” he said.

“That initial bout of violence broke Aya’s jaw but it is not clear how you did that. At about 1am, you carried out further attacks of extreme violence.

“Aya suffered catastrophic head injuries, including skull fractures in several places. Such severe injuries are rarely seen in a child as young as Aya. She could not have survived for long.”

The judge added: “You have never provided an explanation as to why you carried out these terrible things to your own child.”

Bristol Crown Court heard that Parker alerted the emergency services at 1am on Christmas Day – shortly after he killed Aya.

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Aya's mother Zofia Kucharczyk weeps as Lee Parker is found guilty (Elizabeth Cook/PA)

Her mother, Zofia Kucharczyk, had left Parker – who she regarded as a caring father – looking after the baby while she went out with her new partner.

Miss Kucharczyk planned to return to the flat in Kingswood, South Gloucestershire, on Christmas morning, with Parker then spending the rest of the day with a friend in Melksham, Wiltshire.

The court heard that Aya may have been unsettled because she was teething and Parker attacked her after drinking two bottles of wine and a bottle of vodka.

Police had to piece together what might have happened from forensic and medical evidence.

A post-mortem examination found Aya had suffered a jaw injury two to four hours before she died. Two hours later, she sustained fatal head injuries after being hit against the bathroom door and wall.

Parker, of Britton Gardens, Kingswood, pleaded guilty to murder on the day he was due to stand trial.

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Lee Parker never gave an explanation for his actions (Elizabeth Cook/PA)

He and Miss Kucharczyk had met online in September 2015 and she fell pregnant almost immediately. Aya was born the following June.

They did not wish to be a couple but agreed to share a flat in Kingswood to bring up Aya together.

Dean Armstrong QC, defending, said Parker wanted to be a “proper father”.

“It is certainly the case that he cannot offer an explanation and has no memory of what happened that night,” he said.

“He accepts he had been drinking and he accepts by his plea that he was responsible for the death of his daughter. He has never tried to deflect the blame on to anybody else.”

Detective Chief Inspector Gary Haskins, from Avon and Somerset Police, said: “As Aya’s father, Lee Parker was expected to love and protect her at all costs.

“Instead, for reasons we will never know, he robbed her of the life which lay ahead of her and caused unimaginable pain to those who loved her.”

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