Man arrested over death of daughter a week after posting 'daddy day care' picture on social media
Following Hollie's death, 32-year-old Daniel Ashurst appeared before the Wigan and Leigh Magistrates’ Court on March 5
A man arrested for allegedly murdering his 14-month-old baby daughter was revealed to have posted a status on Facebook two days before her death that he was beginning his "daddy day care."
Hollie died on March 1 after she was taken to a hospital in Wigan with head injuries, just days after her father started looking after her while her mother was at work.
Thirty Two-year-old Daniel Ashurst wrote on Facebook on February 27: "Daddy day care starts tomorrow whilst Leanne goes work till Sunday. you have to have a laugh or you would end up crying. GAME ON HOLLIE!!!!!!"
However, following her death, 32-year-old Ashurst was arrested and appeared before the Wigan and Leigh Magistrates’ Court on March 5 morning for less than 10 minutes.
The family of the toddler, who the authorities suspect was murdered, have now paid tribute to the "bright, smiley and happy" girl, the Daily Mail reported. Ashurst appeared calm during his hearing in the court which lasted for less than 10 minutes. He only spoke to give his name, address, date of birth and nationality. About 10 family members were present, sitting in silence as the proceedings took place.
The case was then sent to the Manchester Crown Court and the father was remanded into custody until his next hearing on March 7. According to Wigan Today, chair of the bench Anthony Coffee said: "You will next appear at Manchester Crown Court on Thursday, March 7, at 9.30 am for the bail application to take place."
The baby's mother said in an emotional statement: "Hollie was my dream come true. She was such a bright, smiley, happy little girl and was everyone's ray of sunshine. Hollie brightened everyone's day and was an inspiration and never unhappy. Fly high my princess with your other loved ones and sweet dreams my baby girl, I will always love you."
Some of the little girl's other relatives, including her devastated grandfather, said in a statement: "She was always smiling. She has been through operations with her clef, but she never let anything bother her. Hollie was the happiest baby. She struggled through her operations, and she was such a brave girl. She had just started to crawl and was such a clever girl and she never got upset. She loved watching cartoons. She was alert and always happy and loved watching Mr. Tumble and In the Night Garden."
The authorities said that the child died on March 2 in spite of all the best efforts of the hospital staff to keep her alive. Police officers were alerted by staff at the hospital on February 28 at around 2 pm that a baby had been brought to the hospital with head injuries.
An autopsy conducted on March 4 confirmed that Hollie had died of head injuries. Forensic officers were spotted searching the home in the Shevington area of Wigan after the investigation began.
Detective chief inspector Jamie Daniels, from Greater Manchester Police's major incident team, said on March 2: "All murder investigations are understandably upsetting, but when it involves a child as young as this it's particularly distressing for everyone involved. This tragic case will no doubt have an impact on all those who knew her as well as the wider community and my heart goes out to those who loved this little girl. We are currently trying to build a picture of what has happened in the lead up to this little girl's death and how she has come to sustain her injuries."
The detective added: "Specially trained officers continue to offer their support to loved ones at this terrible time. While this investigation progresses we'd encourage anyone who might have information about this death to please contact us."
Information can be passed on to police by calling 0161 856 9171 quoting reference number 1109 of 28/02/19 or the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.