Age: 15 months
Date: 19 Dec 1999
Place: Rochester, Kent
Emily Messer was shaken to death, having died from brain damage.
Her inquest returned a verdict of unlawful killing, but no one was arrested although the injuries were inflicted whilst only her parents and two other children were in the house.
It was said that she had suffered from shaken baby syndrome, which meant that her head had been twisted and decelerated so violently that damage was caused to the blood vessels in her brain.
Her parents said nothing about what happened between the time that Emily Messer was put to bed at 7.30pm on 18 December 1999 and when they found her dead in her bed at 8.30am the next morning.
When the coroner returned his verdict, he said, 'It was obvious to the perpetrator that harm would be caused and that such action was therefore both unlawful and dangerous, even though the fact that she thereby lost her life was a matter of inadvertency as opposed to intent. I appreciate that this issue needs to be dealt with in a different arena and I would otherwise have wished to say a few words'.