Mum, 42, accused of killing her 10-month-old adopted daughter tells court she had 'never ever hurt' her baby

A PARAMEDIC mum accused of killing her 10-month-old adopted daughter told a court today she had "never, ever hurt her".

Sarah Higgins, 42, was looking after baby Skyla Giller alone when the tot was rushed to hospital with catastrophic brain injuries, it is said.

Medics discovered a brain bleed and performed emergency surgery but she couldn't be saved and died from a "significant injury which is unexplained", jurors were told.

Leeds Crown Court heard during police interview, Higgins claimed Skyla "slipped from her arms" and fell on her bottom – not her head.

She said: "I have never, ever hurt [Skyla]. It never made any sense to me how and what happened.

"We have been waiting for an answer wondering how this could happen.

"I can't explain it. It's not like we were thinking of an explanation for all of this.

"I've been open from the start."


She added: "When we got her it was the happiest we've ever been."

The court was told Higgins was "completely committed" to adoption after going through eight rounds of unsuccessful IVF treatments.

She told police adopting the tot was "all I ever wanted" and explained Skyla's biological mum was an addict and Skyla a "withdrawal baby", it was said.

On August 24, 2017, Higgins had spent the day at the park with Skyla and was singing her nursery rhymes when they returned home to Leeds, jurors were told.

But hours later, she "knew something was wrong" when Skyla's arms were raised and she had a "blank expression".


The mum told police she put the "grouchy" baby on her knee but Skyla slipped and fell on the ground – allegedly landing on her bum.

Higgins claimed the tot had some blood in her mouth but was more concerned with the position her arms were in so she took Skyla to hospital where she later passed away.

The court heard she was arrested after independent medical professionals claimed her version of events was "inconsistent".

They also said Skyla suffered a highly traumatic fall on her head, but Higgins insisted she had never seen the baby fall on her head in any "way, shape or form", jurors were told.

Higgins denied intentionally hurting or shaking Skyla and said two bruises found on the baby's arms had been there before her death, it was said.

Prosecutor Richard Wright QC asked the mum: "At any point did you lose control of yourself? Were you angry that she had woken up?"

But Higgins denied ever being angry at Skyla, stating she would "never, ever, be mad at the kids".

Higgins denies one charge of manslaughter.

The trial continues.

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