For the first time since Molly Baader died on November 3, 2016, Crown lawyers are telling court what they say happened to the two-month-old baby.

In opening arguments Monday in Port Alberni, Crown counsel said her father Warren Baader had told police he’d dropped his child onto the hardwood floor when he was trying to feed her that evening.

It happened in the Redford Street apartment he shared with his partner and Molly’s mother Kaitlin McMaster. Baader told police when he picked Molly up “it was like she wasn’t breathing” so he shook her, admitting later that was bad to do. Her arms jerked but she appeared to be sleeping so he told police he put her in her bassinet and watched TV for a while.

McMaster had been in the bathroom colouring her hair and hen she came out 15 minutes later and found Molly pale and lifeless she called 911. Molly was rushed to West Coast General in Port Alberni and was later transferred to Vancouver where she was taken off life support Nov. 3.

A pathologist concluded there had been blunt force trauma to her head and found two parallel lines on the back of her head, like railroad tracks. Three police officers were the first witnesses called to testify Monday and they spoke about their efforts to locate an object that might be consistent with those injuries, both in the apartment and later in two storage lockers.

In emotional testimony, McMaster broke down as she talked about finding her daughter’s lifeless body. She added that she and Baader had had an on again, off again relationship and that he had been seeing a counsellor for anger management.

He’d been to his counsellor that day and McMaster testified that he seems upbeat and positive that day.

The court was told Baader accepts responsibility for Molly’s injuries but that he says the death was accidental as a result of the fall. However, the Crown says he shook the baby on purpose and that “the injuries cannot be explained by an accidental fall.”

Crown attorneys say it was an “intentional assault” and then he left her and by not calling 911 right away failed to provide the necessities of life.

The trial continues Tuesday and is expected to last two weeks.

Dean Stoltz