An alleged child killer says he lied about a toddler falling off a sofa because it was "bad parenting" to say he let him go up stairs and fall.
Jonathan Simpson is accused of inflicting multiple injuries, including a "catastrophic brain injury", to 22-month-old Jacob Marshall.
Emma Marshall said her then boyfriend offered to mind her little boy at her Speke home, while she went to the hairdressers, on Friday, July 12, 2019.
Prosecutors said Simpson has given "several different explanations" for Jacob's death - first claiming he fell off a couch, later telling police "I dropped a baby down the stairs", and finally suggesting in a prepared statement that Jacob fell down the stairs.
The 25-year-old today gave evidence at Liverpool Crown Court, during which Miss Marshall left the courtroom in floods of tears.
Prosecutors concluded their case by telling the jury that Simpson had six previous convictions involving violence.
They include five convictions for battery and one for assault causing actual bodily harm, between January 2012 and January 2016.
Simpson said he was living in Winsford, Cheshire in February 2019, when he met Miss Marshall on the dating website Plenty of Fish.
Under questioning by Gordon Cole, QC, defending, Simpson said he moved into the mum-of-two's home in Belsford Way in early June 2019.
Simpson said he stayed at home with Jacob while Miss Marshall took her older son, now six, to school and collected him, on numerous occasions over the next five or six weeks.
He said this was for 20 to 25 minutes each time, when he and Jacob would watch TV, play with his toys, or play in the garden.
Simpson said there were two stair gates, but sometimes a downstairs one was left open because of clothes on the banister that got in the way.
He said he had seen Jacob crawl up the stairs with his mum behind him, but hadn't ever seen him come down the stairs.
Simpson said he sometimes changed Jacob's nappy, because he had experience with a child of his own, and 11 nieces and nephews.
Mr Cole said: "In terms of the time you were alone with Jacob, let me just ask you the simple question, did you ever hurt Jacob?"
"No," Simpson replied, later adding that he had never lost his temper with him and got on well with both children.
He said Jacob was "clumsy" and described several incidents in the week or so prior to July 12 when Jacob sustained bruises to his face and head around the home, including when he ran into a trampoline.
Simpson said on the morning of July 12, when he was in the back garden smoking and Miss Marshall was taking her older son to school, Jacob ran into a kitchen door and suffered a nose bleed, which he wiped.
Mr Cole asked if he saw any mark on Jacob's head at that stage, to which Simpson replied: "He was full of bruises on his head, so not that I could make out."
Simpson said he told Miss Marshall when she returned, before she left at around 3pm for the hairdressers.
He said "it just got decided Jacob was staying with me", which he said was mainly the mum's decision.
Asked "did you offer?", he replied: "No, not that I remember."
He said he didn't have to change Jacob's nappy after she left and had never noticed when changing his nappy any bruises to the child's penis.
Doctors have told the jury that Jacob was later found to have "suspicious" bruising in this area and to his left ear, along with unexplained bruises to his head, groin, arms, shins and feet, plus extensive bleeds to both eyes, and also bleeding on the brain.
Simpson said he left Jacob in the living room, wearing Mickey Mouse pyjamas and with a bottle of juice, sitting on the sofa watching the Disney film Coco.
He said he went to the kitchen to make a cigarette and smoked it while standing outside by the back door, where he couldn't see the toddler.
Simpson said he heard a "metallic bang" so went back in and saw Jacob at the bottom of the stairs, who was "just unresponsive".
Asked what was his first thought, he replied: "Nothing, I just panicked, I thought he fell down the stairs, I dunno, I didn't really think, I just ran outside and asked for CPR, I seen that Stephen Forster."
He said the stair gate was "shut to" on Jacob's right foot, which had clothes including his North Face bubble coat on the bannister.
Simpson said he ran out the front door "to get help", saw Miss Marshall's neighbour Mr Forster, asked if he could do CPR, then came back in, carried Jacob into the kitchen and put him down on a rug.
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Asked why he moved the child, he said: "I dunno, my first instinct was to move him into the kitchen. The phone was in the kitchen."
Simpson said his mobile was on charge in the kitchen and he thought he needed it "to let Emma know and to ring an ambulance".
He said Jacob was "limp" and he could see new bruising on his head, before Mr Forster came in to help and knelt down next to Jacob.
Asked if Mr Forster suggested he ring an ambulance, Simpson said "not really, no" and said he just rang one himself.
He said he felt "panicked and shocked" and "concerned".
Mr Cole said: "Did you at any stage go outside for a cigarette?"
"No," Simpson said, adding: "The signal cut off on the phone so I went out to try and establish the connection again."
He said he didn't need to charge his phone and went out the front door, where he got a better signal, then rang and messaged Miss Marshall, when he told her that he thought Jacob had a fall.
Mr Cole said Simpson accepted that he had told paramedics Jacob fell off the sofa and asked why he said that.
Simpson said: "I was just panicked, I had never been in a situation like that before and obviously I had left a baby on his own."
Mr Cole asked: "Did you feel responsible?" "Yeah," Simpson said. The lawyer asked: "Did you feel guilty?" "Yeah," he replied.
He accepted this was a "lie", before Mr Cole asked: "What was the purpose of telling that lie?"
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Simpson said: "I don't know, because it was in the living room, I thought it wasn't as bad leaving him in the living room, as letting him go up the stairs."
Mr Cole asked him to explain further, and Simpson said: "Bad parenting, isn't it."
"Bad parenting?" Mr Cole said. "Yeah," Simpson replied.
He agreed he went with Jacob in the ambulance and at the hospital went in a family room, when one of Miss Marshall's sisters was "angry" with him.
Simpson said when his girlfriend arrived it was made clear they didn't want him there, so she asked him to leave.
Mr Cole said: "At any stage on that Friday did you do anything to deliberately hurt Jacob?"
"No," said Simpson.
The barrister said: "At any stage did you drop Jacob?"
Simpson answered: "No."
Mr Cole said: "At any stage were you carrying him up or down stairs and dropped him?"
"No," Simpson replied.
He said he travelled home to Winsford and overnight didn't have any idea how seriously Jacob was injured.
Simpson told the jury he never did anything to hurt Jacob.
He agreed that he didn't answer calls from the police before handing himself in at Winsford police station at around 7.45pm.
Simpson said he gave a prepared statement, before answering "no comment", based on legal advice.
Asked about his previous convictions for six assaults, Simpson said they all happened when he had been drinking and none involved children.
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Mr Cole said the jury had heard evidence that when he got to the hospital, Simpson indicated to medics that Jacob had fallen off a sofa into a computer tower.
Simpson accepted he mentioned the computer tower, but said he didn't say Jacob hit it and merely pointed out it was at the back of the couch.
Simpson, of no fixed address, denies murder and manslaughter.