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Cleckheaton couple in court on baby killing charge
6:00am Friday 4th October 2013 in News
A Cleckheaton couple have been before a district judge accused of killing their baby daughter.
Daniel Sheard and Lucy Damen appeared at Kirklees Magistrates’ Court in Huddersfield for a 20-minute hearing yesterday.
Police were called to their flat in Foldings Avenue, Scholes, Cleckheaton, early on Monday where Kayleigh Mai Sheard was found dead.
They were arrested that day and charged with manslaughter on Wednesday night.
The pair spoke only to give their names and address during the hearing and did not enter pleas to charges of unlawful killing and familial homicide, between September 26, 2013, and October 1, 2013.
The latter charge accuses the pair of living in the same home as four-month-old Kayleigh Mai Sheard, having frequent contact with her and causing her death, or failing to act when they should have known that there was a significant risk of serious harm or injury to her, from someone living in the same house.
Damen, 19, who has long dark wavy hair, was twisting her hands together as the charges were read out.
Both defendants wore dark jumpers and each had a security guard with them as they sat in the dock of court one.
Sheard, with dark hair, a beard and a tattoo by his left ear, sat quietly throughout the hearing.
Security guards stood either side of the courtroom’s door and senior police officers and relatives, including Damen’s sister, filled the public gallery. One woman was sobbing as the pair were brought up into the dock from the court cells.
Solicitors Arfaq Nabi, for Sheard, and Marnat Ali, for Damen, made applications for bail, but District Judge Marie Mallon remanded the pair to custody.
Judge Mallon told them: “As you have heard, these allegations do have to go to crown court, so today I’m sending this case to Leeds Crown Court for two weeks’ time, that will be October 17 at 9.30am. These are very serious allegations.”
She said she had considered what the stage the police investigation was at and the likely sentence the pair would get if they were convicted, when deciding whether to grant bail.