Mother jailed after death of ‘fashion accessory’ baby son
A MOTHER who treated her three-week-old baby boy as a “fashion accessory” has been jailed with her ex-partner for 10 years each after being found responsible for his death.
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 during at least three separate occasions.
Sentencing the pair, Judge Jane Miller QC said that the baby was violently shaken and could have been thrown across a room.
“Stanley was in pain for much of his short life,” she said. “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 first sign that Stanley had suffered any harm was when a health visitor found a bruise behind his right ear which the couple had tried to conceal but was later misdiagnosed by a paediatrician as a birthmark.
Katie Thorne QC, defending Davis, said that she suffered from depression. “Miss Davis’s case has always been that she didn’t cause the injuries,” she said. “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”.
Derek Benson, chairman of the Hampshire Safeguarding Children Board, has confirmed that a review is being carried out of the handling of the child’s care by the authorities.