A dad has admitted killing his two-month-old baby daughter.
Joseph Ray violently shook Ava Ray at their flat in Prestonpans, East Lothian, on November 1, 2012.
The 32-year-old was charged after a near seven-year probe into the death.
Ray faced a murder accusation at the High Court in Glasgow, but prosecutors on Monday accepted his guilty plea to the reduced charge of culpable homicide.
Ray – who latterly worked as a bin man – was remanded in custody, pending sentencing next month.
Baby Ava was born on September 3, 2012 – the first child for Ray and his partner, Lauren Scott.
Midwives had been “happy” at how they were coping with the newborn.
But prosecutor Ashley Edwards QC said the couple had “arguments” after the birth, mainly over who would do night-time feeds.
On the day of the killing, Ava was left in Ray’s care as Ms Scott had gone to work at a local bar at 6.30pm.
An hour later, Ray unsuccessfully tried to get his aunt to come over to “watch” Ava while he went for a shower.
Around 10.50pm, Ray went to a neighbour’s house, claiming he had found his daughter to be “cold to the touch”.
Ms Edwards said: “He was described as upset and crying.”
A 999 was made and Ray was told to carry out CPR before emergency services arrived.
Ava was rushed to Edinburgh’s Royal Hospital for Sick Children, where tests revealed her brain had been “starved” of oxygen.
Despite efforts, the baby tragically died early the next morning. The court heard it was concluded at that time there were “no apparent suspicious circumstances”.
Ava’s death was initially treated as “unascertained”.
Ms Edwards told how, between 2014 and 2018, “various experts” were consulted about what happened.
“Following protracted discussions…the medical consensus is now that the pattern of injury…was caused by trauma.”Ashley Edwards QC, Prosecutor
She said: “Following protracted discussions…the medical consensus is now that the pattern of injury…was caused by trauma.”
It was concluded Ava had died due to a “head injury”. Ray – who now lives elsewhere in Prestonpans – had been held by police in October 2013.
He was later freed and not charged with any offence. It was in March 2019 that he first appeared in court in connection with his daughter’s death.
The hearing was told on Monday that he initially claimed to police he had put Ava to sleep that night in her Moses basket.
Ray added he later went to give her a feed, lifted the baby up, and found her to be “unresponsive”.
No further details of the attack were revealed.
Ray had no previous convictions at the time of the killing. But he has since been guilty of two “domestic assaults” on Ms Scott.
It is not known if the couple are still together. On Monday, he was accused of assaulting Ava on an earlier occasion and repeatedly attacking Ms Scott.
However, prosecutors accepted his not guilty pleas to those two charges.
Ray had been on bail but was remanded by judge Lady Stacey.
Sentencing was deferred for reports.
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