Hollie Ashurst: Bid to change date of baby murder trial

Hollie Ashurst
Hollie Ashurst

A judge will this week hear an appeal to change the date of a Wigan man’s trial at which he will answer accusations that he killed his baby daughter.

Daniel Ashurst has already appeared at Manchester Crown Court to enter not guilty pleas both to a charge of murdering 14-month-old Hollie and an alternative lesser one of being responsible for her manslaughter.

The most recent pre-trial review hearing was a brief affair at which it was decided that Ashurst would be back in the dock this Friday for discussions as to whether the date of the trial - currently scheduled for October 2 - be altered.

Ashurst, 32, is alleged to have launched a fatal attack on his little girl while minding her at their home in Fleming Court, Shevington, on February 28 this year.

He was arrested by police, who had been called by medical staff saying a baby girl was being taken to hospital with head injuries.

A post-mortem examination by a Home Office pathologist later concluded that she had died from head injuries.

At the time of her death, Hollie’s mum Leanne said: “She was such a bright, smiley, happy little girl and was everyone’s ray of sunshine. Hollie brightened everyone’s day and was an inspiration and never unhappy.”

Another family member added: “She was always smiling. She has been through operations, but she never let anything bother her.

“Hollie was the happiest baby. She struggled through her operations, and she was such a brave girl. She had just started to crawl and was such a clever girl and she never got upset.”