An ex-soldier who murdered his nine-month-old niece because he hated her father must spend at least 17 years behind bars, a judge ruled
Trevor Stoker, 38, was found guilty of murdering little Mollie Norman by a jury at Manchester Crown Court.
Stoker, who was babysitting baby Mollie, picked her up by the ankles and smashed her head against a bed. He also put a pillow over her and viciously punched her about the head and body
The baby suffered immediate and severe brain damage from the attack. She never recovered from the attack and later died.
Stoker later told police there was an “evil demon” inside his head which told him to hurt Mollie to get back at her “lazy” father.
The truck driver and former bouncer has a previous conviction for attacking a baby in 1988, who survived with no long-term injuries.
Sentencing Stoker, of Briarhill Avenue, Little Hulton, to life, Judge Mr Justice Irwin told him: “You are weak and wicked and took out your wickedness on Mollie.”
He added: “This was a despicable and callous crime. To attack and kill a defenceless baby in your care is an act beyond comprehension.
“Your explanation is that you attacked her as a way of working off your contempt for her father – that explanation, too, is beyond comprehension.”
He had changed his initial plea of guilty to manslaughter to not guilty to all charges and put Mollie’s family through the agony of a trial.
Judge Irwin added: “The attack was sustained beyond a single moment. You folded the child into a ball and squeezed her until her circulation was compromised. The next day you punched her repeatedly through a pillow and finally took her by her legs and flipped her up into the air. It was as if she was a whip with her head at one end of the leash.”
Stoker remained impassive in the dock while being sentenced.