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Man jailed for manslaughter of Maisie Newell, who died in Terrington St Clement

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A father who threw his baby daughter into a cot more than 20 years ago has been jailed for her manslaughter.

Maisie Newell, who was later adopted by another family, died in Terrington St Clement in 2014, shortly before her 14th birthday.

A post-mortem examination discovered a causal link between her death and the assault she suffered when she was just four weeks old in August 2000.

Maisie Newell, who died in Terrington St Clement (51719189)
Maisie Newell, who died in Terrington St Clement (51719189)

Dean Smith, 46, of Bushey, Watford, Hertfordshire, was sentenced to three and a half years in prison when he appeared at the Old Bailey on Wednesday.

He had previously pleaded guilty to Maisie's manslaughter, but was cleared of her murder following a retrial earlier this year.

That hearing had been ordered after the jury at an initial trial in 2020 were unable to reach a verdict.

Old Bailey's Scales of Justice. (39874587)
Old Bailey's Scales of Justice. (39874587)

Smith, who previously a three-year sentence for grievous bodily harm on Maisie, admitted to throwing the new-born across the room into her cot after becoming frustrated at her crying while his partner was out of the house.

The attack left Maisie with severe physical and mental disabilities.

In a victim impact statement to the court, an extract of which has been released through the Metropolitan Police, Maisie's adoptive mother, Tracey Newell, said: "Maisie always had the ability to draw people to her, she was like sunshine, radiant and bright.

"Whilst her body was so damaged, her soul remained intact. We all thought the world of her and doted on her.

"She was, and always will be, eternally loved by us all, our family will never be the same without her."

Smith was initially arrested on suspicion of murder in July 2014, two weeks after Maisie's death.

Although he was told he would not face any further action in March 2016, he was subsequently arrested again in February 2019 following a review of the case.

Speaking after the hearing, Det Sgt Sarah Fisher, from the Metropolitan Police's Specialist Crime Command, said: “Instead of the healthy life that Maisie should have lived, she was sentenced, by virtue of Smith’s actions, to a short life of severe disability and pain.

“I hope that this is something Smith reflects upon as he begins his own sentence.

“Maisie was supported and loved by her adoptive family in Norfolk. This entire process has been traumatic for them, after losing Maisie they did not expect a murder investigation to take place, much less a retrial.

“My thoughts are with them today and hope that the sentence handed down brings them a measure of closure.”

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