Matthew Higham
Matthew Higham will serve at least 25 years behind bars for killing his baby daughterGMP/Getty

A man who battered his two-week-old daughter to death has been jailed for life. Matthew Higham, 23, of Shaw Road South, Stockport, pleaded guilty to murder at Preston Crown Court on Tuesday (12 January) and was sentenced to life with a minimum tariff of 25 years.

The crime, decribed as 'barbaric', unfolded on 29 July 2015 when Higham collected his daughter, Florence Mae Collins, from her grandparents' house and took her home to his house on Shaw Road South, Stockport.

A few hours later, at around 8.06pm, Higham made a call to 999 requesting an ambulance for his daughter, stating that she had started to bleed and have a fit as he was feeding her a bottle. Paramedics arrived and noticed that Florence had several injuries, including bruising to her head and face.

She was immediately rushed to Stepping Hill Hospital, where despite sustained life preservation treatment from doctors, Florence was pronounced dead as a result of her injuries. Higham was arrested the next day following an investigation by Greater Manchester Police.

A home office post mortem revealed that Florence had died as a result of a catalogue of injuries including multiple fractures to her skull and body, injuries for which the coroner said "there could be no innocent explanation".

Senior Investigating Officer Duncan Thorpe said: "This has to be one of the most heart-wrenching cases I have ever encountered. A young girl, barely two weeks after her birth, was snatched away from a loving mother, siblings and grandparents by the actions of a man who can only be described as barbaric.

"The facts of this case are almost incomprehensible. It is almost impossible to believe that anyone could subject a tiny baby to such a disgusting attack, let alone her own father."