A MAN accused of murdering a 12-month-old girl has denied making up a story that the child’s mother kicked the youngster to death.

Jamie Chadwick, 22, initially told police he was home alone with Orianna Crilly-Cifrova when she crawled towards him and fell down steps leading into the bathroom.

An ambulance was called when Orianna’s mother Chelsea Crilly, 20, and the defendant’s sister returned to the flat they shared in Radcliffe to find her “floppy” and “completely white” but the toddler died in hospital from serious head injuries the next day on October 17 last year.

He maintained his account until after the prosecution case concluded in his trial at Manchester Crown Court, as he told the jury this week that Crilly sent her daughter “flying” across the living room floor with a “pretty hard side-kick” and then told him to lie for her.

Chadwick, who is not Orianna’s father, said: “I loved Chelsea and I didn’t want her to get into trouble, I took the blame for her. I should have just told the truth.

“While I have been sat in the dock Chelsea has been blaming me for everything.”

In his amended defence statement, he said he did not see the actual impact or where she ended up but assumed Orianna went into a glass TV stand.

Chadwick agreed with Ian Henderson QC, representing Crilly, that medical evidence heard earlier by the jury showed the injuries could not have been caused by the fall he had described.

He asked him: “Did you come up with the story of Chelsea kicking Orianna to put the blame on Chelsea?”

“No,” replied Chadwick.

“Chelsea told me to say it. I stuck up for Chelsea because I loved her.”

Mr Henderson said: “Did you mention the TV stand because you needed to explain the two massive impacts on the back of her head that caused fractures to her skull and serious brain injuries?”

The defendant said: “I didn’t come up with a story. It’s the truth what I’m saying.”

Prosecutor Peter Wright QC, cross-examining, suggested to Chadwick: “You have simply switched Chelsea’s name for your name.”

Chadwick said: “No.”

Mr Wright said: “It was not Chelsea who kicked Orianna. It was you.”

Chadwick said: “No, it was not me.”

The Crown say Chadwick inflicted a “particularly violent attack” on the toddler who suffered injuries consistent with being picked up and swung against a very hard surface, stamped on or hit very hard with a blunt object.

Orianna had also sustained serious non-accidental injuries to her spine and ribs on at least two separate occasions in the days leading up to her death.

Crilly is accused of leaving her daughter alone in the flat above a shop on Cross Lane with Chadwick despite knowing he was under investigation by police and social services over unexplained serious brain injuries to another young child.

Chadwick denied any responsibility for the injuries in July 2018 when he was living under the same roof as the six-month-old boy and his mother, and was subsequently told in December 2019 he faced no further action.

The defendant struck up a relationship with Crilly, who he had known since primary school, in February 2019.

Chadwick denies murder and Crilly denies allowing the death of a child.

The trial continues.