Adam Jackson, 27, admitted murdering his partner’s two-year-old daughter Grace Thorpe (Pictures: PA/ REX)
A man who murdered his partner’s young daughter in a ‘brutal, violent and painful assault’ has been sentenced to life in prison.
Two-year-old Grace Thorpe was left in the care of her mum’s then-boyfriend Adam Jackson, who she was encouraged to call ‘daddy’.
But instead of looking after her, the 27-year-old launched into a ‘spontaneous eruption’ of violence, hitting her at least seven times, minutes after her mum Alice Quine left for work.
Grace suffered a broken jaw, a broken leg, a bleed on her brain, and bruising to her face and body after she was attacked in her high chair. She died in hospital two days after the attack.
Fighting back tears, Ms Quine described her daughter as ‘the happiest little girl’ with an ‘infectious’ laugh as Jackson kept his head bowed in the dock at Teesside Crown Court on Monday.
She said: ‘My life hasn’t been the same since the day I lost Grace and it never will be again. I lost everything in that moment.
‘Grace’s sister is not the same child she was before this happened. She adored Grace and done everything for her, they had the most amazing bond and love for each other.
Grace suffered a broken jaw, a broken leg, a bleed on her brain, and bruising to her face and body after she was attacked in her high chair (Picture: PA)
Adam Jackson has been jailed for life at Teesside Crown Court for the murder of the toddler (Picture: PA)
‘My Grace was the happiest little girl who never wanted for anything, she was always content and smiling, her laugh was infectious.
‘There were so many things Grace loved to watch, to play with and to do; she always enjoyed playing outside and down the beach, she loved to splash.
‘All these things I will never see Grace do again. I will never see her grow up, I will never see any more birthdays, her first day at school, first car, first anything anymore.
‘Grace loved and trusted Adam Jackson and he abused that in every way possible. I trusted him with my whole world and he took it away from me in a split second.
‘No matter what sentence is given it will never match up to the sentence me and my family will face for the rest of our lives.
‘We will never be able to see or touch Grace again and that’s the most heartbreaking thought there is to bear.’
The court heard how Jackson waited 40 minutes before dialing 999 and told dispatchers Grace had fallen from her high chair, a story he stuck to until post-mortem evidence proved it was false.
Nick Dry, prosecuting, said: ‘The findings of the experts ruled out accidental causation of her injuries and pointed clearly instead to their deliberate infliction.’
Mr Dry also detailed how Jackson could become ‘bad-tempered’ if he did not have money for cannabis, which he used every day.
The court also heard that hair samples from Grace showed she had been exposed to cannabis and cocaine.
When police arrived to the home in New Marske, North Yorkshire, on November 10 last year, they discovered the child injured, cold, and only wearing a nappy.
Grace was rushed to James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough and then flown to a specialist children’s unit in Newcastle, but doctors could not save her.
The court heard that she was born in June 2018 and her mum split up from her father and moved in with her own mother.
Ms Quine began a relationship with Jackson a year before the murder and he moved in with them after lockdown.
Jackson, of New Marske, admitted murder and was sentenced to life in prison with a minimum term of 16-and-a-half years.
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