A brute who killed his girlfriend’s new-born baby daughter by violently shaking her and throwing her in a fit of rage has been found guilty of her murder.
Davey Everson, 23, now faces a life sentence at the Old Bailey later this month for the murder of tiny Millie Rose Burdett who was just three months old when she died.
And the baby’s mother, 25-year-old Kirsty Burdett, who failed to protect her daughter against Everson, and even lied for him, will be sentenced too after she was convicted of causing or allowing the death of her daughter.
The couple were convicted at St Albans Crown Court on Thursday afternoon (February 4) at the end of a three-and-a-half-week trial.
Millie, as she was known during her short life, was born on October 10, 2018 and was admitted to hospital on December 15 of that year having suffered multiple fractures and a severe brain injury from which she never recovered.
She died in a coma on January 11, 2019 when her life support system was turned off.
Everson, now 23, but 21 at the time, wasn’t the father of the baby, but had begun a relationship with Kirsty Burdett in 2018 who was then pregnant with Millie, having broken up with the father.
Everson went on trial last month pleading not guilty to the murder of the baby.
In the dock with him was Kirsty Burdett, 25, who pleaded not guilty to causing or allowing the death of Millie by failing to take such steps as would be reasonably expected of her to protect the child from the risk of significant harm from Everson.
Prosecutor David Spens QC told the jury “The person alone with her (Millie) at the time the fatal injuries were inflicted was Davey Everson, the partner of her mother, Kirsty Burdett,” he said.
Mr Spens went on: “He has never provided an account that explains how her injuries were caused. That is because the prosecution say the truth is he violently assaulted her in anger, most likely by shaking or throwing her against a surface such as into a cot.”
“The prosecution case against Miss Burdett is that she failed to take reasonable steps to protect MIllie from Mr Everson despite the clear signs that he posed a serious risk to her; that is the case in a nutshell,” he said.
On November 17, 2018 police attended Miss Burdett’s home after she and the defendant had been heard arguing.
In a police report, it had been recorded: “There has been a verbal argument between the couple due to the stress of their one-month-old baby. No offence has been disclosed.”
On Tuesday, November 20, 2018, said Mr Spens, Millie Rose was taken to Watford General Hospital after she had been “screaming in pain.”
He said it was subsequently diagnosed she was suffering from “colic,” a term used when a baby cries a lot but there’s no obvious cause.
But, following her death, the post-mortem examination was to reveal fractures to the baby’s ribs that had been sustained at some point around November 18.
The court was told that, following a 999-call made from the mother’s phone on December 15, during which the operator was told by Everson that Millie wasn’t breathing properly, she was taken by ambulance from her home to Watford General Hospital.
At the hospital a CT scan showed the baby was suffering from a bleed on her brain which, said the prosecutor, suggested a “strong possibility of a non-accidental injury having taken place.”
Later that day Mr Everson was arrested at the hospital on suspicion of attempted murder.
In a police interview he declined to answer questions and gave officers a prepared statement in which he said: “At no time did I cause any harm to Millie Rose. I do not wish to make any further comment.”
In Miss Burdett’s first interview with police officers, Mrs Spens said she told them her boyfriend could be “heavy handed” with the baby and went on: “All I can think he’s put the milk in too far down; she’s drunk too much – that’s why she has choked. But that doesn’t explain the bleed on the brain …”
He said although the fractures the baby had suffered were non-life threatening, the brain injury was severe and, unable to breathe on her own, she was put on a ventilator.
She continued to remain in a coma and the opinions of the neurology and neuroradiology teams were that her head injuries were so severe that there was little hope of independent survival.
On January, 11 2019, Mr Spens said it was determined that on-going intensive care support was futile and would be withdrawn.
Millie died that day aged just 3 months.
A post-mortem was carried out on Millie on January 17, 2019. The jury was told Millie’s death resulted from traumatic head injury.
Both defendants were also convicted on Thursday of cruelty to a person under 16 years for their treatment of another child who cannot be identified due to ongoing reporting restrictions.
Trial judge Mrs justice Cheema-Grubb adjourned the sentencing of the pair to February 12 when they will appear in front of her at the Old Bailey.