A MAN accused of putting a four-year-old girl in a freezer warned his victim he would kill anyone she told, a court heard today.
The girl, giving evidence by video link, said she was lifted in to the freezer by Stuart Kitt, suffering burns.
The girl, now eight, claimed she was then told by the 33-year-old he would kill anyone she told about the incident.
Kitt went on trial yesterday atEdinburgh Sheriff Court, charged with dragging the girl by her ankles and placing her arms in the freezer cabinet, to her severe injury and permanent disfigurement.
He is also charged with failing to appear in court on 2 December 200 and 7 September 2010.
Kitt has pled not guilty to all the charges.
Today Fiscal depute Ian Wallace asked the girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons: “How was it that you hurt your arms?”
The girl said: “He put me in the freezer and they burned.”
“He just lifted me up and put me in. “
She also said: “It was really sore.”
She then gave evidence that the accused said he would kill anyone she told about the incident.
Mr Wallace asked: “Why didn’t you tell anyone what happened?”
She replied: “I was scared.”
He asked: “Did Stuart say anything to you about telling anyone?”
The girl answered: “He said he would kill the person who I told.”
The witness said she was left with spots on her face and burns on her arms in the incident.
And she said she told her babysitter who had put her in the freezer cabinet, but did not tell her mother immediately.
Defence agent Duncan Hughes then questioned the girl via video link.
He asked her if she remembered speaking to police officers about the incident, to which she replied no.
He said: “What Stuart says happened is your mum put your arms in the freezer, is that what happened?”
The girl replied ‘no’.
Mr Hughes’ questioning had to stop at one point as the sheriff thought the girl seemed upset.
The girl’s mother, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was asked by Mr Hughes if she had put the girl’s arms into the freezer.
She said the accusation was “totally wrong”.
She said she initially thought the marks on her daughter’s arms were caused by an allergic reaction to new cushions she had bought.
The mother said she was at work in a pub when the alleged incident took place.
When she returned home Mr Kitt said she was perfectly fine.
She said: “I noticed she had a rash on her arms. I got a bit panicky and phoned NHS 24.”
The mother said she put bandages and cream on her daughter’s arms.
Police contacted her at work two days after the incident happened, and said her daughter needed urgent medical attention, she told the court.
She went to her daughter’s babysitter’s house, where the girl was staying at the time.
There, she said, her daughter had told her babysitter Mr Kitt had put her in the freezer.
The woman said: “I looked at [my daughter] and she said ‘mum it was Stuart that did it.’”
Mr Hughes also asked the witness if she had argued with her daughter before she left for work on the day of the incident. She replied “no”.
The mother said she had a borderline personality disorder and had seen a community psychiatric nurse.
Yesterday, jurors were shown pictures of injuries to the infant alleged to have been caused by putting her arms in the freezer.
The images showed marks on various parts of the body of the girl, allegedly caused by Kitt.
Jurors heard in a joint minute, a statement agreed between the defence and prosecution, that the pictures of the girl had been taken at the Royal Hospital for Sick Children, Edinburgh, on October 12, 2007.
One picture showed white markings on the girl’s throat.
Others showed views of her left foot, her lower back, her bottom. These were handed to jurors in a book of photographs.
As well as pictures of the girl’s injuries, jurors saw images of a Hotpoint freezer in the kitchen of a flat inEdinburgh.
Mr Hughes, has lodged a special defence of incrimination in relation to a crown witness in the case.
The hearing, before Sheriff Kenneth MacIver, continues.