A man who was high on cocaine when he suffocated a four-year-old girl during a brutal assault has been jailed for six years and eight months.
Sean Lochrie, 33, left the child, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, with two broken arms and other “life-threatening” injuries during the attack in October 2022.
The High Court in Edinburgh heard how Lochrie preyed on the infant whilst she was in his care at a property in Paisley, Renfrewshire.
Police discovered the young girl “shaking uncontrollably” on the floor with injuries to her face and grab marks on her arm. She was also only wearing a ripped and blood-stained T-shirt.
Lochrie pled guilty last month to assaulting the girl to her severe injury and to the danger of her life. Sentence had been deferred for the court to obtain reports on his background and he was remanded in custody.
On Thursday, judge Lord Weir heard defence advocate Iain McSporran KC say that Lochrie knew he had to be punished for the assault.
Mr McSporran told the court that his client took enough of the narcotic to affect his judgement in the moments leading up to the girl being beaten. He said Lochrie was so affected by his crime that he will never take drugs again.
But Lord Weir said that he had no other option but to send Lochrie to prison for the “brutal assault”.
He added: “Nothing can explain the deplorable level of violence represented in this indictment which was perpetrated in whatever condition you were in on the defenceless girl.
“You subjected her to an ordeal which was terrifying. The psychological impact on the child will be long lasting even if she makes a good recovery from her physical injuries.
“The only sentence available to the court is a custodial one. it is hoped you will address the issues that you find yourself in court for today.”
In earlier proceedings, the court heard how the assault took place sometime between October 28 and October 29 2022.
The court heard how Lochrie had made a video call to his father’s partner at 3pm that day where the girl appeared “well and uninjured”.
But at 3.15am he made a call to police to report that there was a “naked female” lying on his floor who he was unfamiliar with.
He stated to the call handler that it “could be” the four-year-old girl.
It was noted that Lochrie was slurring his words and rambling.
Prosecutor Lorraine Glancy KC told the High Court in Glasgow: “The officer could hear a young girl crying in a distressed manner as if in pain.”
“Lochrie was heard to say: ‘“’What age are you, do you have a drug problem?'”
Police were allowed entry to the property by Lochrie, who officers believed was under the influence of an unknown substance.
Ms Glancy added: “Officers entered the bedroom and found the young child later identified as the four-year-old girl lying naked on the floor.
“She was lying on her side with her face turned towards the door.
“She was naked, except for a purple pyjama T-shirt pulled up to the neck which had a hole in it and dried blood on it. She was shaking uncontrollably.”
The girl was noted to have a red mark on her left eye and bruising to her forehead, as well as puffy swollen lips.
She also had grab marks to her left arm while her right arm was in an “unnatural position” under her body.
The girl said: “I feel sick, I’m sore… my stomach is really sore, [Lochrie] hit me.”
Lochrie, meantime, continued to proclaim that it was not the four-year-old girl.
He said: “I don’t know who that is, look at her teeth, she has falsers.”
Lochrie was asked to show pictures of the four-year-old and one taken earlier that night was of the same girl.
He also showed a video of the girl asking to go to the toilet.
When told it was the same girl, Lochrie replied: “I f***ed up.”
Lochrie was arrested and told officers: “I was the only one in the house, it was all a blur.”
He later gave a “no comment” interview when quizzed.
The girl was taken to hospital, where it was found that she suffered bruising to her face, ears, head and eyes.
Ms Glancy continued: “The pattern of the injuries to her face and ears were most likely inflicted with significant force.”
The eye injuries “could indicate severe chest compression, or local skin pressure on her face such as suffocation”.
Ms Glancy added: “In addition to the life threatening face and neck injuries, she sustained two broken arms.
“The doctor considers it is likely that a significant or twisting force would have been applied to both arms to cause these injuries, or fall onto outstretched upper limbs after being thrown may have caused these injuries.”
A urine test also returned positive for cocaine “which could have only have been ingested whilst in the care of Lochrie”.
Fortunately, the girl has made a “good physical recovery” from her injuries but refuses to speak of the night’s events.
On Thursday, Mr McSporran told the court that his client’s conduct is “utterly inexplicable”.
He added: “It has always been his intention to plead guilty at the earliest opportunity. Mr Lochrie is appalled by his conduct.
“If the consumption of drugs does this to one’s mind then it is a good as an advert as any to abstain from them.
“He must live in the knowledge of what he has done and he must live with this for the rest of his life.
“He knows he deserves to be punished. He knows that a custodial disposal is inevitable.”
Lord Weir told Lochrie, who observed proceedings from prison via video link. that because he pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity, he would discount his sentence.
The judge told Lochrie that if he hadn’t pleaded guilty, he would have received a ten year sentence.
STV News is now on WhatsApp
Get all the latest news from around the countryFollow STV News
Follow STV News on WhatsApp
Scan the QR code on your mobile device for all the latest news from around the country