When Barry McCarney was arrested for the rape of 15-month-old Millie Martin he told Rachael Martin, the little girl's mother, and his partner at the time: "Trust me."
The former lovers are on trial at Dungannon Crown Court on charges arising out of the toddler's death.
Millie's 27-year-old mother, Rachael Martin, from Main Street, Kesh, denies willfully neglecting and allowing the death of her daughter, while 33-year-old McCarney, from Woodview Crescent, Trillick, denies murdering and sexually and physically abusing her.
The jury of nine men and three women yesterday (Tuesday) heard transcripts of police interviews with McCarney during which he told them that "me and Rachael have a very good relationship" and that they were "friends" as well as partners.
He said he asked her out after asking the approval of her father and they had been going together for about six months "but I done everything right, I don't want to mess up this relationship".
He described how, on the day before Millie was fatally injured, he sent Martin text's from work telling her "how much I loved her".
However, when she collected him from work later that day "she just said she had the worst day and couldn't stick it" and that Millie wasn't well and wasn't eating.
McCarney told the police Martin "is a bit highly strung" and "this is the worst I ever seen her" and that at one point she broke down in tears.
He said she had been to the doctor for a smear test that day. There had also been a bad road accident outside the South West Acute Hospital in Enniskillen and when she picked him up there around 6pm she told him the traffic was a "nightmare".
The traffic was that bad that they drove to Ballinamallard where she went to a Spar shop. Millie looked like she had a really bad dose of the flu and was "just doped out of it" and "gurnie".
McCarney told the police that when Martin got back into the car "her stress level has hit boiling point". He said she gave Millie juice and a banana and when the child dropped them, Martin reached back to pick them up before taking her handbag and hitting it of the dash, shouting "f--k, f--k, f--k,..........
"It was Millie that set it off," said McCarney. "That's when the handbag hit the dash and the curse word came.
"She is a bit high strung. She gets stressed easily. I get stressed but not when it comes to the kids," he added.
He said that later that evening after Millie gave him a "kiss for Barry Budgie" on the lips and had been put to bed and he had kissed and hugged Martin "she was far more relaxed".
During one interview McCarney told the police that he had never once looked after Millie and had never changed her nappy "because I don't do none of that, I don't change nappies".
He said that if Martin "scooted" down to the shop he would have "watched" the child but the longest he had ever looked after her was for an hour, when she was in bed and her mother was shopping.
He said that on the day Millie was fatally injured he rushed her to the Erne Hospital in Enniskillen and when the toddler was transferred to the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Belfast he followed. It was there, while in a waiting room with Martin, that a police officer approached him and told him he was under arrest for the rape of Millie Martin
McCarney told Martin: "Don't listen to what he says. Trust me."
The trial continues.