A MAN who dropped his three-year-old daughter from a bridge in a drug-induced psychotic episode believed aliens were invading and his partner was a witch, a court heard.

Damien Smith, aged 40, has pleaded not guilty to one count of attempted murder, inflicting grievous bodily harm and grievous bodily harm with intent.

The jury at Manchester Crown Court heard that Smith had been holding his daughter in the air while he stood on the river-side ledge of a bridge over Eagley Brook in Crompton Way, Astley Bridge.

Peter Cadwallader, prosecuting, told the court that Smith had been seen with a pram by a member of the public in Crompton Way on the bridge at about 8.20pm on Friday, September 29 last year.

Smith had threatened a passer-by and had threatened to throw the pram over the bridge, at one point holding the pram with a child in it over the edge.

The onlooker described the defendant as “being off his head”.

The court was told that police arrived on the scene at about 8.35pm and spent around an hour and a half trying to talk Smith out of killing his daughter and himself.

Mr Cadwallader said that Smith had been ‘aggressive’ and ‘disturbed’ and that he was talking to people who were not present about ‘aliens and Paladians’.

In a statement read out in court detective sergeant Karen Brown described the scene when she arrived.

“There was a young small child with him, the child was distressed, they were on the wrong side of the bridge, he was threatening to throw the child from the bridge," she said.

She continued: “Damien repeatedly threatened to drop the child.

“He moved her about his body, held her by an arm, dangling her above the river.”

PC Scott Bradbury, who was also at the scene, said Smith had counted down from 60 as if intending to drop his daughter off the bridge.

PC Paul Miligan told the jury: “I looked towards the noise, the female negotiator screamed ‘he’s let her go’.”

He described hearing Smith say : “I said I’d do it, I told you I’d do it. You didn’t think I’d do it but I did it.”

PC Scott Bradbury told how, at the time, he had positioned himself under the bridge in Eagley Brook.

He said: “I saw the child hit the water. I waded through the water to get to the child.”

Smith’s daughter fell 40ft into Eagley Brook but avoided the ankle-deep water where PC Bradbury was standing and the water helped break her fall.

The girl, who was three at the time, sustained fractures to her left shoulder and wrist.

About a minute later Smith, who was dangling from a ledge on the bridge, also fell into the river.

During the trial, the jury was shown body camera footage from PC William Coleman.

It footage showed Smith in handcuffs surrounded by the emergency services on the riverbed. He could be heard telling officers he could walk.

He had sustained a head injury.

Officers and paramedics were seen walking with Smith to nearby Cineworld where he was arrested and cautioned.

Smith was then taken to Salford Royal Hospital in a police van, accompanied by PC Coleman and the bodycam footage showed Smith asking about his daughter’s condition.

The child was taken to Manchester Children’s Hospital by paramedics for treatment.

Smith declined to give evidence in his own defence but his partner, Janet Andrews, told the jury: “He was a really good father, he would take them to the park regularly after school. He fed and clothed them.”

She called him ‘warm and caring’ and said his parenting could have been described as ‘overprotective’.

She then described how Smith had been acting in the week leading up to the incident.

She described how he had become interested in end-of-the -world videos on Youtube and believed the comet Nibiru was going to destroy the world.

She said: “Damien contacted me to let me know there was a comet coming, Nibiru, it was one of the end of the world prophecies.

“He took it very seriously, it was all over Youtube.”

She added: “He liked to watch music videos and one of the singers had talked about all sorts of Illuminati and he’d started to watch videos connected to that.”

She said she had been flippant about it, but now regretted her reaction.

The court heard Miss Andrew had kept in contact with Smith throughout the week and had planned to try to get him to A&E to get him sectioned. But she said Smith began believing she was a witch.

She said: “He thought I was casting spells and my son had a cauldron in his bedroom and I was controlling [his daughter’s] eyes from Preston to Bolton.”

Miss Andrew said: “Me and Damien had a really warm, loving relationship, it was a complete change to him calling me a witch.”

On the day of the incident Miss Andrew told the court she had not heard from Smith and drove to his house to check on him.

She found Smith’s son alone in the house and a neighbour told her they thought Smith was on a bridge in Crompton Way.

Police confirmed this to her at 11.30pm that night.

The trial continues.