The trial of a couple accused of murdering three-year-old Kaylee-Jayde Priest has been postponed after a juror tested positive for Covid 19 – and the judge was also told to isolate.
Proceedings were due to resume this morning on the third week of the trial of Nicola Priest, 23, and 22-year-old Callum Redfern, who both deny murder.
Jurors were brought into court this morning but were told by judge Mr Justice Foxton QC, appearing over a video link: “I am unable to be in court today with you today.
READ MORE:Kaylee-Jayde Priest likely suffered ‘punch or very hard slap’ to head before death, expert tells trial
“The reasons are I received a message that one of the other judges in accommodation that we share has tested positive for Covid 19.
“I have taken a lateral flow test that was negative and am awaiting results of a PCR test.”
He said a juror had also tested positive for Covid and is unable to be in court.
“We are unable to proceed with the trial today,” he said.
The judge said it was not possible to say when the trial would resume but told the jurors they would be contacted tomorrow by telephone.
“It is a hazard of the times in which we are living,” he added.
“Everything is being done to ensure we resume safely and appropriately as soon as possible.”
Redfern, of Temple Street, Lower Gornal, Dudley, and Priest, of Poplar Avenue, Edgbaston, have denied murder, manslaughter and allowing the death of a child between August 7 and 10.
They have also pleaded not guilty to child cruelty.
Last week jurors heard that Priest made a 999 call on August 9 last year to summon help to her Kingshurst flat but when paramedics arrived Kaylee had already been dead for several hours.
Andrew Smith QC, prosecuting, said that Kaylee had suffered injuries in the months and weeks leading up August 8.
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He alleged Kaylee was subjected to a “ferocious assault” leaving her with severe injuries to her chest and abdomen.
They included her suffering 19 rib fractures in the the hours before her death
“The degree of force involved would have been equivalent to doctors treating children having been involved in a road traffic collision.,” he said.
Birmingham Crown Court has been told that both defendants blame each other for the injuries to the child.