A MAN accused of murdering a baby claims he saw the child’s mother ‘slamming’ her down on the floor and kicking her with her foot, sending her flying.

Jamie Chadwick says he kept quiet about what he had seen happen to one-year-old Orianna Crilly-Cifrova and lied to police because he loved Chelsea Crilly and did not want her to go to prison.

Chadwick, 22, is accused of murdering the baby, who died from massive head injuries, likened to being in a car crash, on October 17 last year, the day after paramedics were called to the Cross Lane, Radcliffe flat he shared with Crilly and his sister.

Giving evidence in his own defence during a trial at Manchester Crown Court Chadwick told how he was on his way to the bathroom to have a shower when he saw Crilly with Orianna, who was crying, on the sofa in the living room.

“She picked her up off the couch and slammed her on the floor. She was screaming," said Chadwick.

He had a shower then saw Orianna was playing with a toy iPad on the floor so he went to have a cigarette in the bedroom.

But after hearing more crying he went back into the room, where Orianna was on the floor.

“I saw Chelsea side-foot her pretty hard and she went flying,” said Chadwick, who added that he left the room to get rid of his cigarette and when he returned Crilly had Orianna in her arms saying, “I’ve hurt my baby.”

Chadwick, who has learning difficulties, claimed Crilly then told him to lie and say he had been sat on the toilet when the baby crawled towards him and fell down steps. He told police this story later.

Asked by Andrew O’Byrne, defending why he had lied Chadwick replied: “Chelsea told me to say that. I took the blame for it. I should have told the truth. I loved Chelsea and didn’t want her to get into trouble or go to jail.”

Later Crilly, 20, left Orianna with Chadwick while she accompanied his sister, Aysha Muhammed, to a doctor’s appointment. When they returned Aysha found the baby, strapped into her pram, floppy and white.

“It was horrible seeing her like that,” said Chadwick, who hid under a bed when paramedics arrived.

Chadwick knew Crilly from primary school and they became a couple after her daughter, whose father was another man, was born.

He said Crilly and her mother were aware he should not have contact with Orianna as he was under investigation about injuries to another woman’s child. He denied harming the child and the investigation was concluded without charge.

Chadwick denies murder and Crilly, of Warwick Road, Atherton, denies causing or allowing the death of a child. The trial continues.