Newborn baby violently beaten to death by her dad ‘ONE day after social workers visited family’ Newborn baby violently beaten to death by her dad ‘ONE day after social workers visited family’
A newborn baby was battered to death by her violent and abusive father just one day after social workers said they were scaling down... Newborn baby violently beaten to death by her dad ‘ONE day after social workers visited family’

A newborn baby was battered to death by her violent and abusive father just one day after social workers said they were scaling down their involvement with him and his family, an inquest has heard.

Little Florence Liberty Mae Higham’s parents had been known to social services but officials visited them to say they were reducing their association with them due to a “decreased level of concern”.

Just 24 hours later, 16-day old Florence was subjected to a sustained physical assault by her father Matthew Higham whilst the infant’s mother Sharon Collins was visiting a sick friend. The baby was rushed to hospital but was pronounced dead just 30 minutes later.

Test showed Florence had suffered “extensive injuries” consistent with her being repeatedly punched and or slammed against a hard surface. They included multiple skull and rib fractures, facial injuries and bruising, resulting in acute brain damage.

She also suffered internal injuries and organ damage including a lacerated liver.

It emerged Higham – who is now serving life for murder – had a history of abusing drink, cocaine, amphetamines and cannabis and before he met Miss Collins had previously had another child removed from his care due to his drug and alcohol abuse and “chastising”.

He had been repeatedly arrested in the months before the murder of Florence and had been issued with a restraining order banning him from contacting Miss Collins after he headbutted her and bit her on the leg during an argument.

The hearing was told Higham, who claimed to be Bipolar and suffer from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, had begun a relationship with Miss Collins after they met through social media. They had a child in 2013 before Florence was born in July 2015.

Miss Collins, from Stockport, Greater Manchester said: “Before I met Matthew he was a drinker, and so was his dad and he used to take amphetamines and cocaine and smoke weed. I knew that he had a child removed.

“When he had hyper days, I found him irritating and he would prance round the house. He was always good with our first child and they bonded well. But there was a few times I was scared if him – it was his mouth, he was quite dirty in his words he would say some right vile things.”

She said she was assaulted by Higham in October 2013 and then again in April 2014 during which he bit her leg and followed her into the kitchen where he headbutted her. He was arrested, convicted of assault and made subject of a restraining order and moved back to his native Liverpool with his mother.

But the inquest heard Higham got back in contact with Miss Collins in September 2014 and they secretly began dating again. He was later arrested at her home in November 14 for undisclosed reasons and then again twice the following month following a complaint about the theft of a satellite navigation device.

Higham was bailed to the home of Miss Collins’ mother a few doors away and social services were informed as she found out she was pregnant with Florence.

The inquest heard the visit to Miss Collins’ home took place on July 28 2015 just a fortnight after the baby was born and was attended by Higham, two midwives, a healthcare assistant and a social worker.

During the meeting the officials talked about Higham’s behaviour towards the couple’s first child.

Miss Collins added: “With the first child, he was very good, he had safe hands but with Florence he didn’t feed her her bottle and didn’t go near her because if he did my first child would scream the house down.

“He wouldn’t spend much time with Florence in the day and would spend more time with her a night – but it wasn’t a concern. He was absolutely brilliant with my pregnancy with Florence and he was upset when people started talking about shaken baby syndrome and that annoyed him.

“I didn’t think it was a problem for them to comment on but it really upset him. He made a comment about him favouring the first child over Florence. I was obviously quite shocked – but I was assured that was all completely normal.”

She said she never thought Higham had previously been violent towards Florence and said he had been “happy and excited” when Miss Collins fell pregnant with her.

She said: “If there was a problem I wouldn’t have let him have her. ”

She said she was “happy” with the decision to scale down the involvement of social service with her family.

On the day of the tragedy July 29 2015, Miss Collins had attended hospital with her mother to visit a sick friend. When they got out of hospital she had 22 missed calls from her mother’s partner.

It emerged Higham had earlier collected Florence from her grandparents’ house and took her back to his home but a few hours later he dialed 999 saying the baby was “bleeding out of her nose, mouth and ears”.

He said she had started fitting as he was feeding her milk from a bottle.

Paramedics arrived and noticed that Florence had several injuries, including bruising to her head and face.

She died at Stepping Hill Hospital despite attempts to revive her.

Fingertip bruises were later found on the little girl’s arms, legs and chest indicating that she had been “gripped and pinched with considerable force”.

Police discovered Higham attempted to clean the bloodied house before emergency services arrived. Officers concluded that the assault had taken place around the sofa before the youngster was moved throughout the house as she continued to bleed.

Blood-stained clothing was found in the dustbin.

Initially, in a statement to police, Higham denied killing his “perfect baby” claiming: “I’m not responsible for the death of my lovely little girl Florence. She was the light of my eyes. I have not shook her or dropped her.”

But at Preston Crown Court, in January 2016, Higham admitted murder and was jailed for life with a recommendation he serve 25 years. He now says he cannot remember carrying out the fatal attack.

At his trial the judge Mr Justice Tim Kerr said that the “evil done” by Higham in the “brutal and frenzied attack” was greater than in other cases he had considered and added: “You battered her to death, her injuries were horrifying.

“It was a crime of such unspeakable violence it is difficult to understand how any human being could do such a thing. You say you do not remember doing it.

“Whether or not that is true, by your plea of guilty to the murder of your baby daughter you have accepted, very late, that you inflicted those injuries on her with the intention of killing her or doing her really serious harm.”

“The victim was a baby barely two weeks old, defenceless and completely dependent on you.”

The inquest continues.

Obinna Onyia

  • Chynna

    2017-03-07 #1 Author

    This is so sad. This bring tears to my eyes every time I see stories like this. Praying for the precious little baby.😥🙏🏽💪🏽💙


    • Yesica

      2017-03-07 #2 Author

      This is terrible how can someone do this😢😢😢


      • Lanette Allen

        2017-03-12 #3 Author

        I just had a baby, and i love him including my other two children to death. I cant imagine life without my children Lord what could possibly drive someone to this point


    • Nicole

      2017-03-13 #4 Author

      How could someone ever the balls to do this to a baby? He deserves to die in jail. That poor little baby💔


  • Ashley

    2017-03-07 #5 Author

    this is so sad 😭😭😭


  • Nadirah

    2017-03-07 #6 Author

    It’s so sad how people do these infants. It breaks my heart. I thank god everyday that my child is not in that type of situation because at any given moment he could’ve been. May that baby rest in peace ❤️


  • Deseray King

    2017-03-07 #7 Author

    this is soooo sad .. PRAYING !!


  • Deseray King

    2017-03-07 #8 Author

    this is soooo sad . PRAYING!!


  • Rolonda wilson

    2017-03-07 #9 Author

    So sad praying for the baby !!


  • Adrianna

    2017-03-07 #10 Author

    I feel as though she should’ve seen signs way before it happened, praying for baby Florence 😢 Thank God justice was served 🙌🏽


  • Kourtney

    2017-03-07 #11 Author

    He needs the death penalty and she need to be put down too!!


  • Dee

    2017-03-07 #12 Author

    That’s sad ash 💯


  • Michael

    2017-03-07 #13 Author

    He’s got to be killed in return too. Rest In Peace baby.


  • Mary Kayy

    2017-03-07 #14 Author

    I believe she seen the signs of this happening. This is extremely sad


  • Jada

    2017-03-07 #15 Author

    This is so sad it was just a little baby . Why would anyone want to hurt a baby a person period I don’t understand he needs death penalty !!


  • Kamyron

    2017-03-07 #16 Author

    This is so sad, I never understood how someone could hurt a baby


  • Kita

    2017-03-07 #17 Author

    This is very sad smh


  • Jalisa

    2017-03-07 #18 Author

    This is so sad, poor innocent baby😢


  • Abraham T Larry

    2017-03-07 #19 Author

    Baby 👶 Florence ,you always be in our prayers


  • Delarine Williams

    2017-03-07 #20 Author

    Wow. This is so messed up honestly how could you hurt a newborn baby? I hope that guy gets what he deserves in jail. I pray for this family.


  • Telana

    2017-03-07 #21 Author

    Smh I’m not understanding how you could do this to a baby


  • Aubresha

    2017-03-07 #22 Author

    Smh So Sad. Praynn


  • Shakira Williamson

    2017-03-07 #23 Author

    Awww he needs death penalty.


  • Reanna Robinson

    2017-03-07 #24 Author

    How could one do such a thing ☹️ Prayers to the family


  • Margaret

    2017-03-07 #25 Author

    If your baby os crying for long periods of time call the babies doctor


  • Darius Sykes

    2017-03-08 #26 Author

    It’s crazy nowadays that you have to be screened just to give birth and parent a child! Ridiculous


  • Thiana garcia

    2017-03-08 #27 Author

    This is extremely sad, that someone can do this to a innocent soul. He said he doesn’t remember he was probably on drugs on alcohol, I put the blame on the mother & the grand parents that were taking care of her and gave her to him. If you know someone has a history of abusiveness and drinking why trust that person to take care of a child? Yeah no one thinks that person will do something like that [kill their child] but they should of known the chances of him getting high or drunk we’re likely & that’s not a safe environment for the baby either.


  • Sausha

    2017-03-08 #28 Author

    Omg 😞😞😔 How could she not have known where was her family 😞😞


  • Tarryn

    2017-03-08 #29 Author

    I hate seeing things like this. Makes me want to cry. I cant believe a human can do this to their own child.


  • Tonya Thomas

    2017-03-08 #30 Author

    That was a very sad and he need to be punished


  • Kiki

    2017-03-08 #31 Author

    They need to bury him under the jailm


  • Diamond

    2017-03-08 #32 Author

    This is so sad, it breaks my heart 😞 He needs to do some major time for this


  • Kia

    2017-03-08 #33 Author

    Omg I just don’t understand how you can harm an precious child especially one that is your own this is something that he has to live with on his conscience for the rest of his life…. R.I.L baby Florence


  • Sidney

    2017-03-08 #34 Author

    Breaks my heart


  • Nicole

    2017-03-08 #35 Author

    This is so sad I almost cried


  • Rachel

    2017-03-08 #36 Author

    This is so sad ! 😢


  • nhlekz

    2017-03-08 #37 Author

    This is sad. Very Heartbroken


  • Vintavia

    2017-03-08 #38 Author

    This Is Very Sad And Some People Don’t Deserve To Have Kids She Were Just A Newborn Baby She Didn’t Do Anything To Nobody God Bless This Family 😪🙌


  • lokesh

    2017-03-08 #39 Author

    This is so bad….what the hell is wrong with his dad..


  • Chanice jones

    2017-03-08 #40 Author

    This is really sad and heart breaking 💔


  • Lakeisha Andrews

    2017-03-08 #41 Author

    This is SICKENING . How can someone do this to their own flesh and blood ? I hope he gets what he deserves in prison !!


  • Shisaiah

    2017-03-08 #42 Author

    This is so sad😢❤s.i.p baby Florence


  • cam

    2017-03-09 #43 Author

    he will get it in prison


  • Khadija

    2017-03-09 #44 Author

    this breaks my heart!!!!!


  • Khadija

    2017-03-09 #45 Author

    this makes my heart hurt


  • Queeniemuzikk

    2017-03-09 #46 Author

    how can people be this wicked? So heartbreaking 😭


  • Ciera

    2017-03-09 #47 Author

    Wow 😪 Why would you that to a baby? no matter what’s going on the baby was innocent!


  • Tia Brooks

    2017-03-09 #48 Author

    That is so sad.. keeping them in prayers


  • Cherish

    2017-03-09 #49 Author

    Makes you think twice about who you have children by and have your children around..


  • Ana

    2017-03-09 #50 Author

    This is the saddest thing when the parent..the one supposed to protect you in life is the one that kills you smh that’s too sad


  • Carra

    2017-03-09 #51 Author

    Why would somebody do this to a Newborn


  • Amber

    2017-03-09 #52 Author

    This is so incredibly sad. I don’t know how people can do this to children. Breaks my heart… 😔


  • Kierra

    2017-03-09 #53 Author

    Broke my heart. It’s almost hard to believe someone can really do this to a baby. So sad


  • Ladaisher

    2017-03-09 #54 Author

    See that’s so messed up . Only a mental person would do their own child like that . It’s break my heart to hear stories like this


  • Dazj

    2017-03-09 #55 Author

    That is very sad and sickening for someone to hurt a innocent child. I’m praying for her family and loved ones.


  • sarah

    2017-03-09 #56 Author

    this is freaking terrible !!!!!


  • Lavashiae kier

    2017-03-09 #57 Author

    Awe this is so sad.


  • Malika Simpson

    2017-03-09 #58 Author

    Wow people are really sick now a days.


  • Lakena

    2017-03-10 #59 Author

    This is soooo sad , praying for the child !


  • Faith brown

    2017-03-10 #60 Author

    This is sad af 😤


  • Deja Jones

    2017-03-10 #61 Author

    So sad , I don’t see how anyone could do this to their own child


  • Desaree

    2017-03-11 #62 Author

    Wow how can a person do such thing


  • Tre’Anya

    2017-03-11 #63 Author

    This is outrageous 😩😭 what did the child do to deserve any of this? How can you even harm someone so small? That is only the devils work


  • Arlisha

    2017-03-12 #64 Author

    OMG this is soooo heartbreaking!! He needs to rot in prison!! 😭😭😭


  • Carla

    2017-03-13 #65 Author

    This is such a sad story how could you harm your own child no child deserve this babies are blessing !!!


  • Ftn

    2017-03-13 #66 Author

    Not everyone is a father or mother. We have people who ain’t biological parents of a ward but takes good care of it. This man might have something wrong with his thinking. So sad. Really angry 🤧


  • Kyanna Rayford

    2017-03-13 #67 Author

    This is too sad… I’m praying for the baby and the family😔🙏🏾


  • Amber jones

    2017-03-13 #68 Author

    This is so sad ☹️ Poor baby


  • Destinee

    2017-03-13 #69 Author

    That is just terrible:(


  • Cheyanne Rayborn

    2017-03-14 #70 Author

    I couldn’t imagine this happening to my little. Girl. I’d be in jail for murder.


  • Akoya

    2017-03-14 #71 Author

    That’s so sad smh


  • Carina

    2017-03-14 #72 Author

    Idk how these things happen. How do you beat any child never mind a defenseless baby. Looking at my baby girl this really hurt my feelings. I feel for this baby and I’ll pray this child doesn’t go through anymore abuse growing up.


  • Adjara

    2017-03-14 #73 Author

    Why would anyone want to do something like this to a baby ? There are really crazy people on this world


  • Carina

    2017-03-14 #74 Author

    Idk how these things happen. How do you beat any child never mind a defenseless baby. Looking at my baby girl this really hurt my feelings. I feel for this baby and I’ll pray no other child go through such horrible abuse.


  • Sasha

    2017-03-15 #75 Author

    This is EXACTLY why I don’t trust my kids around everybody. Sometimes cant even trust your own Family members. Luckily, my kids are blessed with a living and caring family that I myself can trust watching my babies when needed. God bless the family.. ❤❤ Prayers.


  • Mariah jones

    2017-04-20 #76 Author

    Omg this is so sad how can you do that to a baby


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