Lee Parker, 33, will likely be spending the rest of his life behind bars, after pleading guilty to murdering his baby daughter Aya on Christmas Eve while in a drunken, drug-fueled rage.
According to a report from BBC News, Lee Parker is a resident of Britton Gardens, Kingswood, Bristol, who had admitted to having consumed two bottles of wine and a third of a bottle of vodka on Christmas Eve 2016, right before repeatedly hitting six-month-old Aya Parker’s head against a bathroom door. Drug tests had also found traces of cannabis and cocaine in Parker’s blood, suggesting he ingested those substances within 24 hours of the crime.
For his actions, Parker was sentenced on Tuesday to a minimum of 15 years and two months in jail. BBC News noted that the 33-year-old British man had made a last-minute decision to change his plea to guilty, but didn’t offer any explanation for his actions.
Prior to the attack, Aya Parker’s mother Zofia Kucharczyk had seen Lee Parker as a “caring and loving father,” and trusted him to take care of their baby daughter as she left the house on Christmas Eve, with plans to return home on the morning of December 25, wrote Sky News in a separate report.
A report from the Mirror suggests that Kucharczyk and Parker had briefly dated prior to Aya’s birth, and while they ultimately decided against being an actual couple, the two had remained friends and shared a flat so they could raise their baby daughter together.
Court records suggest that Aya may have been having a hard time that Christmas Eve as she was teething at the time. This may have angered Parker, who was drinking heavily before he had brutally attacked his infant daughter.
The Bristol Crown Court had also heard that Lee Parker called emergency services shortly after he had attacked Aya, at around 1 a.m. on Christmas Day. Aya Parker would be pronounced dead not long after emergency medical technicians arrived on the scene and tried to revive her; her cause of death was determined to be due to severe head injuries.
Justice Stephen Phillips sentenced Lee Parker, noting that such injuries are very uncommon in infants as young as Aya was. He also criticized Parker for not providing any explanation beyond his admission that he was drunk and high at the time of the murder.
“This wasn’t premeditated, but a rage. Her injuries show you intended to kill her, influenced by drink and drugs. You have never provided an explanation as to why you carried out these terrible things to your own child.”
What drove Lee Parker, who had apparently done something completely out of character, to admittedly murder his infant daughter? Speaking to the Mirror, prosecuting lawyer Richard Smith said that the real reasons may never be known, though he nonetheless believes that Lee may have felt “isolated” on Christmas Eve, and was also “recently bereaved and in a low mood” at the time of the crime.
“A man influenced by drink and or drugs might be less well able to control their emotions, perhaps physically, if dealing with the tantrums of a six-month-old baby,” said Smith.
Smith also stressed that Lee Parker loved Aya, and that he had previously taken care of her by himself without any issue.
“The reality is that what this defendant did so terribly to his daughter on that Christmas Eve was essentially out of character from both the father and man most people saw.”
Summing up the case, Detective Chief Inspector Gary Haskins was quoted by several publications, including the Daily Mail, as saying that Lee Parker’s reasons for killing Aya Parker may never be known, but the case is a particularly “emotive” one due to the timing of the murder.
“Aya was just six-months-old and was about to enjoy her first Christmas, yet because of the actions of her father it was sadly her last,” said Haskins.
[Featured Image by Denis Tangney Jr./iStock]