Hollie Ashurst: Four-month delay to dad’s murder trial

Hollie Ashurst
Hollie Ashurst

The trial date of a Wigan man accused of murdering his baby daughter has been delayed until next year.

Daniel Ashurst has previously entered not guilty pleas both to a charge of murdering 14-month-old Hollie and an alternative lesser one of being responsible for her manslaughter.

Yesterday he was back at Manchester Crown Court for his defence team to request that the trial, previously set to begin on October 2, be postponed to allow for further pathological tests it has requested to be carried out.

Two dates were offered as alternatives: one in November at Liverpool Crown Court and the other at Manchester on February 3. The latter was deemed preferable to the defence and so the four-month delay was allowed.

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.”