February 2021

Rickmansworth man Davey Everson jailed for Millie-Rose Burdett murder

A man who killed his girlfriend’s baby in a “sustained assault” has been jailed for life.

Davey Everson, 23, had been convicted of the murder of three-month-old Millie-Rose Burdett, who died in hospital on 11 January 2019.

A judge at the Old Bailey said he must serve a minimum jail term of 18 years.

The baby’s mother, Kirsty Burdett, 25, of Rickmansworth, was convicted of causing or allowing the death of her daughter and was jailed for six years.

At a sentencing hearing, the court heard how Everson was said to have “used inappropriate and excessive force” during the baby’s short life and had become “riled” that the child had begun to look like her biological father.

During the pair’s trial at St Albans Crown Court, the jury heard Millie-Rose was admitted to Watford General Hospital on 15 December 2018 with multiple fractures, bruising and a bleed on the brain, from which she never recovered.

She later died in a coma at King’s College Hospital in London.

The jury heard Everson, who lived in Haselbury Road, in Edmonton, London, had begun a relationship with Burdett, of Nightingale Road, Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire, when she was pregnant.

He was alone with the baby when the fatal injuries were inflicted, but told emergency services she choked and stopped breathing while he was feeding her.

Prosecutors said the brain injury suggested a “strong possibility of a non-accidental injury having taken place” and it was likely Everson injured her by “shaking or throwing her against a surface”.

The baby was later found to have suffered 12 fractured ribs and two leg fractures before the fatal assault took place.

The jury also heard Burdett “failed to take reasonable steps to protect Millie” and “covered up for [Everson]”.

Passing sentence, Mrs Justice Cheema-Grubb said it was a “sustained assault on a small baby” and, referring to the existing injuries, said Everson had “caused her acute and lasting pain for half of her short life”.

“One of the things that upset you, Everson, was that Millie-Rose was beginning to resemble her biological father, and that riled you,” she said.

Everson and Burdett were also given four and two-month jail sentences, respectively, for cruelty to a person under 16, involving another child who cannot be named.

February 2021

Couple found guilty over the death of baby Millie Rose Burdett

A man who violently shook and threw a baby in a fit of rage has been convicted of murder.

Davey Everson, 23, was found guilty at St Albans Crown Court of the murder of three-month-old Millie Rose Burdett, who died in hospital in January 2019.

Millie Rose’s mother, and Everson’s partner, Kirsty Burdett, was also in court and she was found guilty of causing or allowing the death of her daughter.

Millie Rose suffered a catalogue of injuries during her short life, including 23 broken bones, and she was never able to recover from a bleed on the brain she received in December 2018 after being shook by Everson at Burdett’s home in Rickmansworth.

The Crown Prosecution Service says Burdett, who began a relationship with Everson, of Enfield, when she was pregnant with Millie Rose, chose to “cover up her partner’s actions” and that she “lied on his behalf to the authorities”.

St Albans Crown Court heard during the trial that although not the biological father of Millie Rose, Everson had expressed the wish “to take her on and be a father to her” after she was born.

However, within weeks of Millie Rose’s birth, questions had been raised about his suitability for the role and social services had become involved, it was claimed.

Witnesses, including a social worker, health visitor and family members, described Everson being “heavy-handed” and “rough” when feeding Millie Rose, including causing bruising to her face when he winded her. He was referred for parenting classes by the social worker.

On the first day of the trial, prosecutor David Spens QC said Millie Rose had been taken to Watford General Hospital on November 20 2018, after she had been “screaming in pain”.

Mr Spens said it was subsequently diagnosed Millie Rose was suffering from “colic”, a term used when a baby cries a lot but there’s no obvious cause.

But, following her death, the post-mortem examination was to reveal fractures to the baby’s ribs that had been sustained at some point around November 18.

The jury heard a member of Burdett’s family had seen Everson’s frustration when trying to feed the Millie Rose from a bottle which appeared to be too big for her.

At one point the witness said he had “shoved the bottle hard into her mouth saying f…… drink it – take it you f…… bitch”.

Mr Spens said although Burdett had not witnessed that particular incident, she was later to admit in interview that there was an occasion that Everson had shoved a bottle into the baby’s mouth so hard that it made her mouth bleed.

On another occasion, to explain bruising to Millie Rose’s face, Burdett is said to have told her mother that she had fallen from a car seat which had not properly fitted her buggy.

After the baby’s death she was interviewed and said it was a lie and that her boyfriend had caused the bruising.

The jury was then told how, on December 11 2018, a health visitor who went to Miss Burdett’s home noted there were indications the baby was failing to thrive.

The health visitor gave the mum advice as to “upping her calorie intake” and also noticed there was a bruise on each of the baby’s cheeks the size of finger marks.

He said, asked by the health visitor how the baby had obtained them, the mother said Mr Everson was “heavy handed” with her.

Mr Spens said: “By December it must have been clear to Kirsty Burdett that Davey Everson had serious problems with controlling his anger.

“However, rather than reporting his behaviour and ending the relationship, Kirsty Burdett had defended him, covered up for him.”

The court was told that, following a 999 call made from the mother’s phone on December 15 during which the operator was told Millie Rose wasn’t breathing properly, she was taken by ambulance from her home to Watford General Hospital.

At the house, Mr Everson is said to have claimed to a paramedic that he had been feeding her a bottle of milk in a bedroom when she choked and stopped breathing.

At the hospital a CT scan showed the baby was suffering from a bleed on her brain which, said the prosecutor, suggested a “strong possibility of a non-accidental injury having taken place”.

Later that day Mr Everson was arrested at the hospital on suspicion of attempted murder, with Millie Rose later transferred from Watford General to Kings College Hospital in London.

It was also discovered the baby had suffered multiple fractures of different ages to both sides of her chest and to the front and back ribs.

In addition, she had a fracture to her right femur and a fracture to her left tibia which, said Mr Spens, was “consistent with the to and fro from movement of the legs during violent shaking”.

He said although the fractures the baby had suffered were non-life threatening, the brain injury was severe and, unable to breathe on her own, she was put on a ventilator.

She continued to remain in a coma and the opinions of the neurology and neuroradiology teams were that her head injuries were so severe that there was little hope of independent survival.

On 11 January 2019, Mr Spens said it was determined that ongoing intensive care support was futile and would be withdrawn, and Millie Rose died that day.

The jury was told Millie Rose died as a result of traumatic head injuries.

Following the guilty verdicts for Everson and Burdett, senior crown prosecutor Rebecca Waller said: “This is a tragic case of a defenceless infant who suffered horrendous treatment at the hands of a violent man and was failed by her mother, who had a duty to protect her from harm.

“Both defendants repeatedly lied about Millie Rose’s frequent injuries. However, evidence from medical experts has enabled us to get to the truth of what happened to her during her short life, and secure Everson’s conviction for her untimely death.

“The jury have also concluded that Millie Rose’s mother did not take the steps she could and should have taken to keep her child safe, ultimately causing or allowing her death.”

Burdett and Everson were also convicted (February 4) of cruelty to a person under 16 years for their treatment of another child who cannot be identified due to ongoing reporting restrictions.

Both defendants will return to the Central Criminal Court on Friday February 12 for sentence.