JAILED: Life imprisonment for man who beat girlfriend’s baby daughter to death in Tameside

By Mancunian Matters Staff

A man who beat his girlfriend’s 23-month-old baby to death has been sentenced to life imprisonment and must serve a minimum of 18 years.

Roxie Archer died from a ‘devastating’ brain injury suffered at the hands of Ben Raftery, 21, when she was left with him as her mother enjoyed a trip to New York.

Raftery, from Gorton, tried to construct an alibi for his crimes by saying on Facebook that Roxie had banged her head at McDonald’s, and then told police that Roxy had fallen down the stairs at her home in Ashton-under-Lyne.

Detective Superintendent Denise Worth from GMP’s Major Incident Team said Raftery abused his position of trust.

“Roxie was a two-year-old little girl who should have felt safe in her own home in the care of Raftery,” she said.

“He abused his position of trust and subjected an innocent toddler to an attack which left her with an un-survivable head injury.”

On March 10 last year Sophie Archer left her daughter for the first time and child care was split between Raftery and other family members.

Raftery took Roxie to the doctors on that day for a pre-planned appointment as she hadn’t been very well.

On the way to the doctors they went to a solicitors where Raftery claimed Roxie had banged her head before they continued to the doctors where she was given medication for a virus.

At about 12.30am Raftery called an ambulance to his and Archer’s Elizabeth Street, Ashton-under-Lyne address, saying his ‘step-daughter’ had fallen down the stairs and had also banged her head at McDonald’s earlier in the day.

Roxie died from an un-survivable brain injury at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital at 8.15pm on Sunday March 11.

The post-mortem examination found that althought the baby died from a head injury, it was deemed as ‘non-accidental’.

Raftery was arrested on March 14 last year and found guilty today following a trial at Manchester Crown Court.

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