A FORMER neighbour of a woman accused of murdering her little daughter says she saw her hit the girl across the back of the head with a great deal of force.
Joan Lucas said Sharon Wright, 23, was cruel to four-year-old Leticia and would bully her.
Leticia was covered in bruises when she died in November last year of multiple injuries.
Wright, of Almondbury Bank, Moldgreen, and her then boyfriend, Peter Seaton, 22, of Meadow Lane, Northallerton, North Yorkshire, are on trial charged with her killing at their Moldgreen home.
Miss Lucas told Bradford Crown Court she had lived opposite Wright and Leticia when they lived at Clifford Avenue in Sandal, Wakefield.
She said she had seen Wright throw her daughter on to the sofa when trying to get her to have a sleep.
“She (Wright) would shout ‘get to sleep or I will give you another crack’,’’ Miss Lucas said in a statement.
She added: "I saw her hit Leticia on the back of the head on two or three occasions. Leticia would be two or three years old at the time.
“On one occasion Sharon called Leticia in for her tea and when she didn't respond Sharon slapped her on the back of the head. She only did it once but with a great deal of force.
“Leticia reacted by shaking and crying and walked back into the house. It happened more than once.’’
Miss Lucas also said Wright would pick her daughter up by her armpit to drag her back into the house.
This, she said, was cruel and Leticia would always be crying. Miss Lucas added: “I feel that Sharon was too heavy-handed with Leticia and she bullied her.
“ I felt I should interfere, but I didn't. She could be mouthy and have a nasty temper and would lose her temper very quickly.
“If Leticia wanted to play with her toys and Sharon didn’t want her to, she would get a smack. Sharon was often heavy-handed with her.
"I'm choked as to what happened to Leticia,’’ Miss Lucas continued. “She was a lovely little girl with beautiful eyes.’’
Housing officer Diane Harrison dealt with Wright while she was in Wakefield and said she never saw her smack her daughter.
But in a statement that was also read to court Miss Harrison said Wright would often shout at Leticia.
She said: “Sharon would shout if Leticia did anything wrong and when she did she would be loud. Leticia would really react to this and almost froze. On occasions she would even make her jump.’’
The jury were told that Wright then left the Wakefield area and moved in with a Stuart Robertson in Hartlepool.
In his statement he said Wright would slap her daughter across the back of the legs and buttocks, leaving red marks.
He added that once Wright had thrown Leticia on to the sofa with such force that he had thrown an ashtray across the room in frustration.
It was while Mr Robertson was in prison that Wright began seeing Seaton, who lived on the same street. They then moved to Almondbury Bank, where Leticia died.
She had a severe wound to the back of the head, as well as an injury to the abdomen that was similar to those sustained in road accidents.
Both Wright and Seaton have denied her murder and an alternative charge of causing a child's death.
The trial continues.