Jail over ‘bru­tal’ death of new­born

Burton Mail - - National -

A MOTHER who treated her baby as a “fash­ion ac­ces­sory” has been jailed with her ex-part­ner for 10 years each for be­ing re­spon­si­ble for the “bru­tal” death of her three-week-old son.

Rox­anne Davis, 30, of Gosport, Hamp­shire, and ex-part­ner Sa­muel Davies, 24, of Southamp­ton, were con­victed by a jury at Winch­ester Crown Court of caus­ing or al­low­ing the death of Stan­ley Davis.

The trial heard that the baby died of a skull frac­ture and brain hae­m­or­rhage at just 24 days old on March 28, 2017. He had also suf­fered 32 frac­tures to his ribs and nine frac­tures to his arms and legs sus­tained on at least three sep­a­rate oc­ca­sions.

Judge Jane Miller QC said the baby suf­fered a “bru­tal” at­tack in which he was vi­o­lently shaken and could have been thrown across a room. She said: “Stan­ley was in pain for much of his short life.

“The med­i­cal ev­i­dence is he would have cried in­con­solably for 10 to 30 min­utes, which means both of you would have been aware of his dis­tress be­cause the flat was so tiny. One of you may have been ab­sent when one of the sets of in­juries was in­flicted, but not all.”

Davis sobbed dur­ing the hear­ing and as she was taken down to the cells, she shouted out: “He’s a mur­derer.”

The judge told her: “Much of your upset is self-serv­ing croc­o­dile tears. Your upset was more about you rather than Stan­ley.”

She added: “You were de­lighted to show him off to fam­ily and friends, but when you were back at home and he wasn’t a fash­ion ac­ces­sory, you were happy to hand him over to your part­ner.”

The court heard that the for­mer cou­ple had a frac­tious re­la­tion­ship, with the po­lice be­ing called to the prop­erty on March 11 by neigh­bours who re­ported shout­ing com­ing from the flat they shared in Gosport.

Both de­fen­dants tested pos­i­tive for tak­ing co­caine and cannabis af­ter they were ar­rested fol­low­ing Stan­ley’s hos­pi­tal­i­sa­tion.

The first sign that Stan­ley had suf­fered any harm was when a health vis­i­tor found a bruise be­hind his right ear on March 16 which the cou­ple had tried to con­ceal but which was later mis­di­ag­nosed by a pae­di­a­tri­cian as a birth­mark.

James New­ton-Price QC, pros­e­cut­ing, said: “They were very clearly warned about the risk of harm to the baby by the po­lice and the so­cial worker when they warned them they couldn’t be­have in an ar­gu­men­ta­tive or volatile way.”

Katie Thorne QC, de­fend­ing Davis, said that she suf­fered from de­pres­sion and added: “Miss Davis’ case has al­ways been that she didn’t cause the in­juries. Miss Davis did ac­cept her strong feel­ings of guilt in fail­ing to pro­tect Stan­ley.”

Sally Howes QC, de­fend­ing Davies, who was not the bi­o­log­i­cal fa­ther, said he had “a great sad­ness and a great feel­ing of guilt”.

She added: “He is clearly a very im­ma­ture man and his di­ag­noses of ADHD and emo­tion­ally un­sta­ble per­son­al­ity dis­or­der are re­cent and will have to be ad­dressed at a later stage.”

Sa­muel Davies and Rox­anne Davis

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