A BAKER accused of murdering his six-month-old daughter by shaking her and throwing her onto the floor “just snapped” because he was sleep-deprived and the teething baby wouldn’t settle, a Perth trial has heard.
Nicole Martin had been tag-teaming care of Isabella Sully Jean Martin with her husband Arron Colin Martin for less than two months in November 2017 when their child died from injuries he inflicted after returning to their Brookdale house from an early morning shift.
Prosecutor Amanda Forrester told the Supreme Court of WA on Monday that Martin hurled the infant from a height of almost two metres, admitted he saw her head start to swell and she was still breathing but he did not call for help.
Instead, he “picked her up, put her in the cot and left”, Ms Forrester said.
His wife of four years told the court she had said “hi and bye” to her spouse before leaving for her work as a McDonald’s manager, and the infant might have been “a bit grizzly” with a stuffy nose as she was recovering a cold, but wasn’t particularly unsettled.
Defence counsel John Rando said the child had been restless and agitated, and would not sleep as his tired client had hoped.
The 37-year-old did not intend to harm her but “something just happened”.
Mr Rando said the couple loved the child but with their work schedules, “something was bound to happen.”
Ms Martin, 35, said she and her husband had had “a brief discussion” about their rosters but neither could change.
They didn’t hire babysitters because they wanted to save money, but not for anything in particular, she said.
Mr Rando said Martin was traumatised after he realised what he’d done and twice tried to end his own life before turning himself in to police.
Ms Martin discovered what happened when she came home from work to find police officers and paramedics.
She said he’d had a “good” relationship with his baby, who he fathered through artificial insemination as prescription drugs he’d been taking for anxiety and depression had ended their sexual relationship.
Mr Rando told the jury they could find his client committed the lesser charge of manslaughter.