A WIGAN dad spoke of his relief and vowed to put his life back together after being cleared of all charges involving injuring his baby daughter.
Martin Thomas, from Worsley Hall, was found not guilty of five charges of inflicting grievous bodily harm with intent and alternative charges of inflicting GBH on his daughter Evie, between November 2012 and February 2013.
Following the verdict at Liverpool Crown Court yesterday Mr Thomas, of Poplar Avenue, spoke of undergoing almost two years of hell.
He said the ordeal had left him afraid to leave his home and cost him his job at Heinz’s plant in Kitt Green but he now hoped to put the trial behind him and grieve properly for Evie, who died at the age of just four months from unrelated causes.
Mr Thomas, 30, said: “I was very emotional when the judge read out the verdict. The security woman said I was free to go so I left the court straight away.
“It’s all such a big relief. All I ever wanted to do, and set out to do, was prove my innocence and now I have done that.
“I’ve been beaten up on the street and called names and for the last 20 months I’ve been stuck in the house. I had to leave my job and I’ve been suicidal, I tried taking my own life.
“You just wouldn’t believe how much of a weight off my shoulders it actually is. No-one can ever imagine or come close to imagining how I’ve felt unless they go through it themselves.
“I can now finally walk around the streets without looking over my shoulder and I can actually grieve properly for my daughter without any stress on my back.”
Mr Thomas was found not guilty of inflicting injuries to Evie’s skull and ribs following a week-long trial at Liverpool Crown Court, which he said was a harrowing experience as it forced him to relive every detail of his daughter’s life.
Evie, who suffered from the rare condition Treacher Collins syndrome, died on February 21 2013 from respiratory failure while sleeping at home with her parents, Mr Thomas and his partner Hayley Fisher.
Mr Thomas also criticised people who had used online sites such as Facebook and Twitter in the time since his arrest to post abusive or unpleasant messages about him, but says he now just wants to put the ordeal behind him.
He said: “The trial was awful. It went through everything that happened, the accident, the day Evie actually passed away, everything was brought back up.
“I have to say social media hasn’t helped one little bit, seeing people’s ideas, views and opinions. I just want everyone to be aware of the verdict and that I was found not guilty.
“I’m now going to try my best to just move forward and go back to work. I can now go out with friends as I’ve not been able to do that, I was scared of people thinking I had done something. Now I don’t have to worry about that.
“I can put it all behind me the best I can.”