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Dad faces homicide charge over baby death

AAP logoAAP 5/12/2016 Jacqueline Le

A man accused of killing his baby daughter in Victoria no longer faces a murder charge over her death.

Joby Anthony Rowe, 24, was earlier this year committed to stand trial for the murder of his three-month-old daughter, who died in August 2015 after going into cardiac arrest at their central Victorian home.

Prosecutors on Monday downgraded the charge to child homicide at a directions hearing before the Victorian Supreme Court.

Justice Lex Lasry also granted Rowe bail to a New South Wales address, but he will not be released until a $20,000 surety is paid.

At Rowe's committal hearing in Bendigo in July, medical experts alleged the baby's injuries were linked to shaken baby syndrome.

A forensic pediatrician gave evidence that the baby's brain scans revealed subdural haemorrhages.

Bleeding was also detected in other parts of the little girl's body.

She became critically ill on August 29, 2015 and was airlifted to the Melbourne Royal Children's Hospital, but died the next day.

Rowe told paramedics be had been giving his daughter a bottle of baby formula when she choked, vomited and fell unconscious.

The then 23-year-old had been at home taking care of the baby when her mother returned from work and saw the little girl had stopped breathing.

She started CPR and called Triple Zero, and the baby was in cardiac arrest by the time a paramedic arrived.

Rowe'a trial is scheduled to begin in Bendigo in March.

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