Jury in trial of Dudley man accused of killing baby daughter is discharged due to coronavirus

The jury in the murder trial of Dudley man Philip Peace who is accused of killing his five-month-old daughter has been discharged.

Birmingham Crown Court
Birmingham Crown Court

The trial at Birmingham Crown Court had only got underway on Monday – but the jury was discharged on Tuesday afternoon for reasons relating to coronavirus.

On what would have been the second day of Mr Peace's trial, a juror reported that their family member had suspected Covid symptoms. As a result, the judge, Mr Thomas Linden, discharged the juror and all the jury too.

Before he dismissed them, Mr Linden told the jury: "Juror number two has been discharged from further service in this case.

"As a consequence of that, the rest of the jury will be discharged from further service in the case."

It is not yet known when a new jury will be sworn in for the case to continue.

The court had previously heard Peace allegedly shook his five-month-old daughter Summer in a “whiplash-style” motion which caused her death. Peace had called 999 after his daughter Summer became limp on September 8, 2017.

Summer was unresponsive and had to be taken to Russells Hall Hospital and later Birmingham Children’s Hospital for further treatment.

Doctors established she had suffered fatal brain injuries and it was agreed with her parents that her life support would be withdrawn a day later, a judge heard.

Summer died at 5.44pm on September 9 around 25 hours after she collapsed, jurors at Birmingham Crown Court were told.

Mr Andrew Smith QC, prosecuting, alleged the five-month-old girl suffered the fatal injuries to her brain after she was “intentionally shaken” by Peace.

Peace, 42, of Himley Road, Dudley, denies both murder and manslaughter.

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