This is the first picture of a paramedic and would-be adoptive mum who is accused of killing a baby girl in a flash of temper.
Sarah Higgins, 42, is on trial for the manslaughter of baby Skyla Giller, who she and her partner were planning to adopt.
She became momentarily frustrated whilst attempting to feed the ‘grizzly’ tot and did something to her that caused her death, it is alleged.
The hearing at Leeds Crown Court, which is entering its final stages, has been told that if Higgins’s account of how Skyla suffered her catastrophic brain injuries were true it would be a ‘world first.’
This is the first picture of paramedic Sarah Higgins (left), 42, who is on trial for the manslaughter of baby Skyla Giller. Higgins (pictured outside Leeds Crown Court last month, right) dialled 999 and told the operator the 10-month-old baby had slipped and fell to the carpeted floor while feeding her
A doctor told the court that colleagues who assessed ten-month-old Skyla considered it likely her injuries were ‘catastrophic or repetitive’.
The infant died at Leeds General Infirmary two days after Higgins dialled 999 and told the operator the baby slipped and fell to the carpeted floor while feeding her, landing on her bottom.
Higgins and her partner Martin Dobson, both Yorkshire Ambulance Service paramedics, were in the process of adopting Skyla at the time of her death on August 26, 2017, at their then home in Huddersfield, West Yorks.
Summing up the prosecution’s case Richard Wright, QC, told jurors at Leeds Crown Court that Higgins’ version of how Skyla suffered her fatal brain injury was not credible.
The experts who had given evidence had never seen a child who had fallen that way suffer a brain injury of the type that killed the baby girl, he said.
Mr Wright continued: ‘There is not one expert of vast clinical experience who has ever seen anything of the sort before, it would be a wholly unique explanation for those injuries.
‘It has never been reported before in any medical literature, it is not known to experts around the world.It would be a world first.’
He told jurors that Higgins had injured Skyla during a momentary loss of temper, telling an operator during her 999 call: ‘I must have done something to her.’
He said: ‘Sarah Higgins and Martin Dobson do not want to face the reality that this otherwise good and decent person who had led a valuable life lost her temper and did something to that baby.
‘No one wants to acknowledge that reality but it is a reality towards which, we suggest on the evidence, you are driven and that is why we invite you to return a guilty verdict in this case.’
A doctor told the court that colleagues who assessed 10-month-old Skyla Giller (pictured) considered it likely her injuries were ‘catastrophic or repetitive’
Jamie Hill, QC, for Higgins, said: ‘Medical evidence raises great suspicion about abusive trauma but none of it is ruling out Sarah Higgins’ account, none of it is saying it cannot be true.
‘None of it goes anywhere near making you sure that this perfectly decent woman is guilty of manslaughter.’
Consultant paediatrician Elizabeth Day had earlier told the jury how she examined Skyla after she was admitted to hospital and found five bruises on the baby’s right arm.
She told the court: ‘No explanation has been provided for this.’
The trial has heard Skyla also suffered bleeding to eye tissue and optic nerves.
Dr Day said an ophthalmology report suggested a ‘traumatic cause’ should be considered as there was no obvious medical cause for the injuries.
She told the court she interviewed Higgins about the incident and said Higgins described how she had been sitting on a wooden rocking chair feeding Skyla.
The defendant said the baby had been ‘grizzly’ and was not taking her milk.
Dr Day said: ‘Sarah stood up to turn Skyla around to face her and, in her words, ‘I lost grip of her’.’
Higgins said the baby fell to the floor from around chest height and fell on her bottom in what she described as not being a ‘significant fall’.
Higgins told the doctor Skyla did not initially appear to be injured and she put the baby back in her cot.
She described how she became concerned when Skyla’s face ‘went blank’ and she noticed blood in her mouth.
Higgins went on to describe how Skyla’s body went ‘floppy and the colour drained from her body.’
Mr Justice Lavender has begun summing up the case to the jury who will next be asked to retire to consider their verdict on Higgins, who denies manslaughter.