Former soldier who lost his eye in Afghanistan attack that killed five colleagues faces jail after admitting killing his toddler daughter when he got home
- Liam Culverhouse pleaded guilty to causing or allowing death of toddler
- He lost his right eye in a shooting in Afghanistan in November 2009
- 18 months after returning he assaulted his daughter Khloe Abrams
- She was left fighting for her life in hospital for nearly 18 months
- Khloe’s mother Clare Abrams was cleared of the charge
A former soldier who lost his right eye after being shot by a rogue Afghan policeman in Helmand province has been warned he faces a ‘significant’ jail sentence after admitting killing his 19-month-old daughter.
Liam Culverhouse, 25, who at the time was a Lance Corporal, was injured at an Afghan National Police checkpoint in Nad-e-Ali in November 2009. Five of his comrades were killed in the attack.
Eighteen months after returning home, Culverhouse assaulted his then seven-week-old daughter Khloe Abrams at the family home in Northampton.
She was left fighting for her life in hospital for nearly 18 months.
Liam Culverhouse (above) has been warned he faces a ‘significant’ jail sentence after admitting killing his 19-month-old daughter, Khloe Abrams. Culverhouse lost his right eye during a rogue attack at an Afghan National Police checkpoint in Nad-e-Ali, Helmand province, in November 2009
Today at Nottingham Crown Court, Culverhouse, who was medically discharged from the Army in April, pleaded guilty to causing or allowing the death of the toddler.
Khloe was admitted to Northampton General Hospital on May 8, 2011 with severe injuries. She never recovered and died at the Rainbow Children’s Hospice in Loughborough on November 7 last year.
In a statement, Northamptonshire Police said: ‘Khloe Abrams died at the Rainbow Children’s Hospice in Loughborough on November 7, 2012. She was 19 months old.
‘Khloe died as a result of a severe trauma following an assault which took place in May 2011 when she was seven weeks old.’
Acting Corporal Steven Boote of the Royal Military Police (left) and Guardsman James Major (right) of the 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards were two of the soldiers killed in the attack in Afghanistan in November 2009
Corporal Nicholas Webster-Smith (left), of the Royal Military Police, and Sergeant Matthew Telford (right) were also killed in the rogue attack at an Afghan National Police checkpoint in Nad-e-Ali, Helmand province
Culverhouse, of Kingsthorpe, Northampton, appeared in the dock at Nottingham Crown Court today alongside his former partner, Khloe’s mother Clare Abrams.
Wearing a black suit with blue shirt and tie, he showed no emotion during the hearing.
Sally Howes QC, prosecuting, told the court Culverhouse had pleaded guilty ‘to causing or allowing the death of Khloe Abrams under the heading of causing the death of Khloe Abrams’.
She said: ‘Mr Culverhouse is accepting that he is responsible for the unlawful act that caused the death of the child.’
No details of the assault were heard in court.
Miss Abrams, wearing a black suit and pink top, pleaded not guilty to the joint charge of causing or allowing the death of her daughter.
After a review of the evidence, Miss Abrams, of Abington, Northampton, was cleared of the charge.
Miss Howes said: ‘The Crown would offer no evidence against Miss Abrams in relation to these counts and invite a verdict of not guilty.’
David Howell, defending Culverhouse, told the court his client was an ex-member of the military who had suffered extensive injuries as a result of operational service in Afghanistan in 2009, including the loss of his right eye.
Culverhouse was granted bail to allow him to receive rehabilitation support, the court heard.
Adjourning the hearing for pre-sentence and medical reports, the judge Mr Justice Jeremy Baker told Culverhouse: ‘Please understand, and I am sure you do, it is extremely likely you will be facing a significant custodial sentence when you return to court.’
Culverhouse will be sentenced at Nottingham Crown Court in December.
In March 2010 he appeared in a Channel 4 documentary in which he told how he played dead during the attack in Afghanistan when the gunman shot him six times in his face and both arms and legs as he tried to escape.
‘Please understand, and I am sure you do, it is extremely likely you will be facing a significant custodial sentence when you return to court’
– Mr Justice Jeremy Baker
He described the moment he heard the footsteps of the gunman pacing over to him to make sure he was dead.
The shootings sent shockwaves through the Nato mission in Afghanistan.
Those killed in the shooting were Warrant Officer Class 1 Darren Chant, 40, Sergeant Matthew Telford, 37, and Guardsman Jimmy Major, 18, of the Grenadier Guards, and Corporal Steven Boote, 22, and Corporal Nicholas Webster-Smith, 24, of the Royal Military Police.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the killings but British military sources suggested it was more likely that the incident was a one-off and unconnected to insurgents. The rogue gunman has never been caught.
In the documentary, Culverhouse said he and his colleagues picked up a ‘funny atmosphere’ at the checkpoint before the shooting but could not have predicted what happened.
The soldier revealed that the troops were having a competition to see who could catch the most mice when the policeman opened fire.
He said: ‘I remember getting hit in the face with something and I remember shouting and swearing.
‘I remember saying, “f****** hell, what was that?” and I covered my face and turned around to see the back of an Afghan, one of the police officers, shooting the lads.’