8 Jun 2016

Murder accused's calls to 111 played

4:25 pm on 8 June 2016

A father accused of murdering his five-month-old daughter described her as being in "stun mode" when he made 111 emergency calls.

Exterior of the Auckland High Court

Photo: RNZ / Claire Eastham-Farrelly

Troy Louis Stuart Solomon has denied murdering his daughter Aaliyah and is on trial in the High Court in Auckland.

Mr Solomon made three calls to the emergency services, recordings of which were played to the jury today.

In the recordings played to the court, Mr Solomon can be heard screaming at the operator as he had to repeat his Pukekohe address several times.

His daughter had been in the bath and wasn't breathing, he said.

The call taker instructed him on how to carry out mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and compressions on Aaliyah.

Mr Solomon described his daughter as making burping noises and being in "stun mode".

His lawyers say Mr Solomon accidentally dropped her, while lifting her out of the bath.

But the Crown says Aaliyah's broken leg and head injuries are consistent with Mr Solomon swinging her by her leg into a hard surface.

The jury has also heard from the child's mother, who described her partner as a loving father who did everything for their children.

She said he helped around the house as well as feeding, bathing and putting their children to bed, and said one of the reasons she fell in love with him was because he loved kids.

She described getting a phone call from Mr Solomon on the day of Aaliyah's death. She said at the time she was walking back from PAK'nSAVE and said Mr Solomon yelled for her to come home.

She said she had to hold the phone away from her ear as Mr Solomon yelled at her, telling her he had left the baby in the bath.

The couple spent the night in a car. She said Mr Solomon did not tell her what had happened, only that he had failed to protect their daughter.

Crown prosecutor Aaron Perkins said Mr Solomon had failed to protect her from himself.

"He was alone with the baby, and for whatever reason, he became sufficiently frustrated with her that he lashed out at her, causing these injuries."

The injuries included a shattered femur and severe head injuries. There was also evidence of a previous fracture, which was healing.

Mr Perkins said a pathologist would give evidence to say the injuries were consistent with Aaliyah being picked up by her leg and swung head-first into a hard surface.

Mr Solomon had initially told ambulance staff, police and his own family that Aaliyah had drowned in the bath, Mr Perkins said.

But his story changed hours into his police interview after being confronted with evidence of Aaliyah's head injuries.

"The Crown position is what he says in explanation is utter nonsense."

He said Mr Solomon explained he had not told the truth because he was not "man enough" and he did not think his partner's family would believe his story.

Mr Solomon's lawyer, Phil Hamlin, expanded on this in his opening address.

He said Mr Solomon had been bathing Aaliyah when another child had called out for his help.

"He came back to find her under the water, he lifted her up and she slipped from his hand and crashed to the floor."

Mr Hamlin said it was the fall to the floor, feet first, that caused Aaliyah's broken leg and fatal head injuries.

Mr Hamlin said Mr Solomon called 111 immediately and performed CPR but to no avail.

He said Mr Solomon accepted responsibility for causing his daughter's death but he was a devoted father and what had happened was an accident - not murder.

The trial, before Justice Davison and a jury, will hear evidence from 28 witnesses and is set to run for three weeks.

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