Soldier gets six years for killing his baby

Liam Culverhouse was sentenced at Northampton Crown Court yesterday. Picture: TSPL
Liam Culverhouse was sentenced at Northampton Crown Court yesterday. Picture: TSPL
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A SOLDIER who killed his 20-month-old daughter after surviving an attack in Afghanistan has been jailed for six years.

Lance Corporal Liam Culverhouse admitted causing the death of Khloe Abrams at an earlier hearing.

The Grenadier Guardsman was medically discharged from the army after losing his right eye in shootings at an Afghan National Police checkpoint in Helmand Province in November 2009. Five of his comrades were killed in the attack.

Eighteen months after returning home, Culverhouse assaulted Khloe at the family home in Northampton, resulting in the infant suffering severe brain damage and fractures to her skull, ribs and limbs.

The infant, who was just seven weeks old, was admitted to Northern General Hospital on 8 May, 2011. Despite receiving medical treatment, she never recovered and died at the Rainbow Children’s Hospice in Loughborough 18 months later on 7 November, 2012.

Sentencing Culverhouse yesterday at Northampton Crown Court, the judge Mr Jeremy Baker said it was clear he had been suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) following his ordeal, but that did not 
diminish the fact he had caused the death of his daughter.

Jailing the 25-year-old for six years, Mr Baker said: “No-one who has understood what happened to you… in Afghanistan can have anything but profound sympathy for the effect which it had upon you.

But he added: “As I have said, I accept that the effects of your mental condition contributed to your treatment of your daughter. However, you acknowledged to police and others that prior to your experiences in Afghanistan you had always had a temper which manifested itself in other circumstances.”

Prosecuting, Sally Howes QC told the court Culverhouse was “hyper-vigilant, over-reactive to minor things, irritable, angry and aggressive”.

Culverhouse told military doctors he would get angry before the incident but that following the ordeal he would now “fly off the handle at the slightest thing”.

But the court heard he stopped attending treatment for his PTSD, which was provided by the army following his ordeal in Afghanistan, and that he told friends and doctors that he feared being left with Khloe.

He said he “feared what he would do if the child would not stop crying”. Sentencing Culverhouse the judge said: “It is clear from what you told a number of individuals prior to the incident that you appreciated the significant risk of serious harm to your daughter, yet you failed to alleviate the risk.”

Culverhouse failed to attend his last appointment with doctors in 2010 and was discharged from medical care in February 2011.

Months later, Culverhouse claims he and his then-partner Clare Abrams found Khloe unresponsive at her home in Northampton and took her to hospital. The court heard the pair had met on Facebook and that friends had described the relationship as “turbulent”.