I WAS OUT PARTYING, SAYS DAD ACCUSED OF BEATING DAUGHTER
May 05, 2004
By Court Reporter
A young father accused of battering his baby daughter so severely it left her blind and disabled for life said he was out clubbing at the time of the incident.
Peter Marker, a car valeter from Leaves Green, Crown Wood, in Bracknell, told the jury at Reading Crown Court that he was out with friends when 19-month old Crystal received serious head injuries.
The 22-year-old stood in the dock at Reading Crown Court charged with causing grievous bodily harm with intent to the baby and six charges of causing cruelty to a person under the age of 16 years.
Marker told the jury that he had not hit his daughter and that he believed the child was injured after her mother, Julie Tatum, fell while carrying her.
Giving evidence last Wednesday he said he was out at a nightclub on Christmas Eve when his ex-girlfriend called to tell him about the fall.
He said: “She said she had come out of the bathroom and fallen with Crystal on the clothes horse and wanted me home as soon as possible.”
The jury heard how he was driven home immediately by a friend.
The baby was rushed to hospital the following day when the couple visited Miss Tatum’s parents and Crystal’s grandmother noticed the girl was limp, pale and unresponsive.
Marker told the court that his relationship with Miss Tatum had been deteriorating in the run-up to Christmas and said he had often been out clubbing without her.
He said: “We would go down to the pub at about six or seven o’clock with my mum, sister and other friends. Julie would stay at home.”
“We would go out to pubs and clubs and I would get home at about 2am.”
Asked what reception he would get from his girlfriend on his return, Marker replied: “A grunt. I would never give a specific time that I would get home so she would usually be sitting on the sofa waiting up for me.
“Towards Christmas things started to become worse and she became possessive and I didn’t want to be with her.
“She would go out and do her thing during the week but for me to have my time at the weekend was not allowed.”
At a previous hearing John Price, prosecuting, alleged that Marker had grabbed the baby by the throat and battered her against her cot.
He said an X-ray revealed the baby had sustained a skull fracture, broken ribs and bruising, adding: “The baby is likely to remain blind.
“She will always be physically very disabled and will be dependent on others for her care and everyday needs throughout her life.”
Marker denies all seven charges. The trial continues.