A father has appeared in court to deny murdering his 23-day-old baby daughter at an address in Inverness.
Mikayla Haining died on June 8 last year in a flat in the Hilton area of the city.
Thomas Haining, 20, appeared in the dock at the High Court in Glasgow charged with repeatedly inflicting blunt force trauma to her head and body “by means to the prosecutor unknown” at 115 Mackay Road.
It is alleged he assaulted Mikayla repeatedly from the day she was born to the day she died and that she was so severely injured she died.
Shelagh McCall QC, representing Haining, told the court that there was a problem obtaining expert medical witnesses for the defence.
She said: “There is a dearth of experts for this kind of case in Scotland and those there are have been snapped up by the Crown.”
The QC told the court that she has now instructed medical experts from London.
Judge Lady Rae continued the case until February 8 next year.
A trial diet is expected to be allocated then.
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Haining, whose address was given as High Street, Grantown-on-Spey, had paid tribute to his daughter on social media following the tragedy.
Originally from Ardgour in the Morvern area, he had lived in the flat with Mikayla’s mother, Shannon Davies.
After the death, detectives sealed off the flat on Mackay Road.
Police initially treated the death as “unexplained” before later describing it as “suspicious”.
In the weeks after the tragedy detectives carried out door-to-door inquires in the block of flats.
Forensic officers were seen going in and out of the property.
A large blue tarpaulin was suspended from a balcony above the maisonette flat covering the windows while officers worked at the scene, while uniformed police stood guard at the front door.
Haining made three appearances in private at Inverness Sheriff Court and made no plea. On the last occasion he was fully committed and released on bail.
At yesterday’s High Court hearing his bail was continued.