Baby girl suffocated by father with ‘post-natal depression’
Summary of story from The Telegraph, May 5, 2011
Baby girl Harriet was born to British architects Mark Bruton-Young and wife Clare in December 2008.
He now stands accused of murdering his six-month-old daughter after allegedly searching the internet for months for ways to kill babies.
According to Paul Dunkels, prosecuting, Bruton-Young ‘had difficulty coming to terms with fatherhood’ from the very beginning.
The jury heard that baby Harriet was ‘unplanned’ and the father blamed his daughter for his own marriage problems.
Colleagues described him as ”depressed” and claimed he spent all his time on his computer.
Mr Dunkels said: “It was not a planned pregnancy and from the outset her father had difficulty in coming to terms with fatherhood and was depressed by it.
“He resented the intrusion of Harriet into his married life. Using a computer at work to search for information, it provided a window into his thoughts and his intentions.
“Initially, he searched for information on bonding with your baby, depression and coping with fatherhood.”
But in early February 2009 Bruton-Young used a work computer to look at “how to get an unwanted baby adopted”.
He searched for information on “how a child might be harmed or die and a baby being suffocated, and what signs might be detected if a baby was suffocated.”
Forensic searches on the hard-drives of three work computers found he made hundreds of searches between January and June 2009.
In January he Googled ‘coming to terms with fatherhood’.
But by February these had developed into post natal depression searches and even “I thought I wanted kids but now I don’t know”, the court heard.
Over the next few months his searches explored death by anti-freeze poisoning, lead poisoning and the effects of punching a child in the stomach.